Fans of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting love the reality show for presumably one thing – the show’s main cast, the Duggars, were never afraid to be their real selves. However, when it came to an end in 2015, the fandom was surprised to find out that their beloved TV family was not actually what they believed them to be, especially Josh Duggar, the oldest of Jim Bob and Michelle’s 19 children.
The reality TV star and political activist came under fire in May 2015 when the scandals of his past were brought to light. His actions brought an end to his TV and political career and almost did the same to the Duggars’ media empire but they were able to survive the fire and are back with a spinoff, Counting On. However, Josh and his wife, Anna do not star in the new show.
Who Is Josh Duggar?
The first of nineteen children, Joshua James Duggar was born on the 3rd of March, 1988 in Arkansas. His parents are James Robert (a.k.a Jim Bob) Duggar – a realtor, politician and TV personality, and Michelle Annette Ruark Duggar. All 19 Duggar kids have their names beginning with “J” including Jill, Josiah, Jessa, Jana, Joy-Anna, and Jinger.
Josh was raised alongside his siblings in a conservative Christian home where they had to follow a strict set of rules. Some of them include – all the women in the family must dress modestly according to the dress code, no physical contact with the opposite sex until the wedding day, short courtships, homeschooling for all the kids and a ‘no divorce’ policy.
In accordance with the family’s rules, Josh Duggar was homeschooled as were all his siblings. He passed Arkansas state’s test for a general equivalency diploma (GED) at 16 but did not attend college. He joined his reality TV family on the TLC show in 2005 and served as the executive director of FRC Action, a lobbying PAC sponsored by the Family Research Council, from June 2013 until his resignation in May 2015, when his past caught up with him.
Josh is married to Anna Duggar (née Keller). Josh and Anna got married in 2008 and they have five kids including Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus, Meredith, and Mason – with the sixth one, a girl set to arrive this fall. The couple has weathered some turbulent times in their relationship, including Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal, but they have managed to stay together through it all.
Details Of His Sexual Abuse Scandal
On May 21, 2015, a report by the magazine In Touch Weekly revealed scandals of Josh’s past to the public. The magazine quoted a redacted police report from 2006 which showed he was investigated for molestation of five minor girls, including four of his younger sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager, between 2002 and 2003.
Josh Duggar made his parents aware of his strange addictions and the incidents back then. Josh revealed that he inappropriately touched his sisters and a babysitter on multiple occasions while they slept, and in a few cases when they were awake as well. The Duggars were taken aback by his confessions but took disciplinary measures. They also took him to their church leadership for counseling and enrolled him in a program afterward. He spent three months in the program which consisted of physical labor and counseling.
When he returned in July 2003, Jim Bob further took him to Jim Hutchens, a state trooper and family friend, to whom Josh also confessed and apologized. That was their first meeting with any law enforcement authority. Also, according to his parents, no further incidents had occurred since he returned.
However, after a scheduled family appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show was canceled in 2006 due to an anonymous source revealing Josh’s past, the dust was raised once more. The police launched an investigation but could not file any charge because the statute of limitations had passed by that time, as a result of their initial report to Hutchens. The police created a report which became the magazine’s reference point in their 2015 article that brought Josh’s past, which was largely unknown before then, to light.
That same year, it was also revealed that Josh Duggar was a member of an adult website, Ashley Madison, and had cheated on his wife. He later confessed to having a pornography addiction and vowed to seek treatment. Josh then checked himself into a rehab center and began marriage counseling in 2016 after his release.
What Is Josh Dugger Doing Now?
Josh Duggar’s publicity woes led to the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting on July 16, 2015, consequently, ending his TV career.
However, despite the criticism he has faced, Josh Duggar is doing well for himself and his family. Just like his father and most of his siblings, Josh works in real estate. He owns ALB Investments, LLC and is also a car dealer who sells used cars.
While a TV career is no longer part of the family’s schedule, his wife, Anna, keeps fans up to date on Instagram about everything going down in their family.