NEW YORK (AP) – Two of reality TV’s Duggar sisters fondled by Josh Duggar say they weren’t aware it had happened until he confessed and their parents told them about it.
Jill and Jessa Duggar, part of the family featured in TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” were two of the four sisters whom Josh Duggar touched inappropriately a dozen years ago. They talked about it with Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly Friday night.
Jessa Duggar said that her brother was “a young boy in puberty” who was “a little too curious about girls.”
In the wake of the incidents, the sisters said the parents restricted the children from playing games like hide and seek and placed locks on bedrooms where the girls and boys slept.
Jill and Jessa Duggar said their parents spoke to each child individually about what their brother had done. They shared their story with FOX News:
“So for me even when my parents came and sat down and told me this, I was like, ‘really?’ Like you know I’m sad. I’m shocked at the same time… I’m sad because this is my older brother, who I love a lot, and so it’s like, conflicting there,” Jill Duggar recalled.
She said her brother asked each of the girls he inappropriately touched for forgiveness.
“…I was angry at first, I was like, ‘how could this happen?’ And then, you know, my parents explained to us what happened and then Josh came and asked each of us, individually I know, he asked me to forgive him. And I had to make that choice to forgive him, you know. And it wasn’t something that somebody forced like, ‘Oh you need to do this. It’s like, you have to make that decision for yourself.”
The Duggars say they added locks to the doors in the home after learning of the abuse. Rules were also added to keep the girls safe. Jill tells Megyn Kelly:
“You know, everybody’s in bed. Girls in the girl’s room. Boys in the boy’s room. And so yeah, they just, and as a mother now I look back and I think you know my parents did such an amazing job for me.”
Jessa says the Duggars are being judged. They want the public to know that while they are known for their strong Christian beliefs, they are a family “with challenges and struggles just like anybody else.”