Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are finally speaking out.
The stars and parents of 19 Kids & Counting are being interviewed by FOX News’ Megyn Kelly about their son Josh Duggar’s molestation past and how the family have been affected by the scandal.
Last month, Josh, their eldest child, admitted he molested five underage girls as a teen. Some of those girls were his sisters.
Prior to this pre-taped televised interview for The Kelly Files, Jim Bob and Michelle had only released a written joint statement:
“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.”
9:00pm ET: The Duggars sit down with Megyn Kelly on Wednesday.
9:02pm ET: As a lead up to the interview, Megyn recaps The Duggars rise to fame and their conservative lifestyle.
9:05pm ET: Jim Bob and Michelle first learned about Josh’s actions when he was 14. Josh told his parents he “improperly touched” his sisters. Michelle said she was “shocked” but had “one ray of hope” that Josh had the “tender conscience” to tell them. Michelle gets teary saying as parents they felt like “failures.”
9:07pm ET: Josh had told his parents he was “curious about girls” and touched his sisters over their clothes while they were sleeping. Jim Bob and Michelle talked to each of their daughters one-by-one. None of the girls were aware of Josh’s actions before their parents talked to them.
9:08pm ET: Jim Bob and Michelle didn’t know what to do. They watched him all the time, Jim Bob even took Josh to work with him. There were no more actions in the bedroom, but later, inappropriate touching incidents took place on the couch.
9:10pm ET: “This was not rape,” Jim Bob says. He clarifies that there was both over-the-clothes AND under-the-clothes touching.
9:11pm ET: Josh came to his parents three times before they felt that they had to take the issue out of the house. They pulled Josh out of the home and sent him to a family friend in Little Rock, Arkansas, who ran a camp for young men.
9:12pm ET: Jim Bob and Michelle didn’t send Josh to juvenile sex offender facilities because they were told those programs didn’t work.
9:13pm ET: Jim Bob says Josh “broke” and “God came into his life” at the Christian-based counseling facility.
9:13pm ET: Michelle says her daughters didn’t even understand that Josh’s actions were “improper touch.”
9:14pm ET: It was Josh touching the youngest victim that they pulled him out of the house.
9:15pm ET: Megyn asks them how they protected their daughters. Jim Bob says he and Michelle watched Josh and put “safeguards in their home” before Josh went to camp, but they tried to keep things normal.
9:20pm ET: Jim Bob says Josh was the sheep that went astray in their flock.
9:21pm ET: Michelle says “the little one” (the youngest one who was molested) didn’t know why Josh and Jim Bob were leaving (for the Christian camp).
9:22pm ET: “Kids will make their own choices … even though you’ve taught them right and wrong,” Jim Bob said. “I was so thankful though, Josh came and told us.”
9:24pm ET: Jim Bob confirms it was four daughters and the family babysitter.
9:25pm ET: Jim confirms most incidents occurred when the girls were asleep, but there were two incidents when they were awake.
9:26pm ET: After Josh came back from Christian camp, Jim Bob took Josh to the law enforcement. Jim Bob says it was “an important step for Josh to confess to the police what he did because he broke the law.” Jim Bob says it was “terrifying.” He didn’t know if they were going to arrest Josh at that point.
9:29pm ET: Megyn asks The Duggars how they chose which police officer to talk to. Jim Bob says he, Michelle, Josh and a witness went to talk to this officer (who is facing 56 years in jail for child pornography). Michelle says the officer put the “fear of God” into Josh.
9:31pm ET: Jim Bob says Josh also all of the children received professional counseling, including Josh, who paid for his own counseling.
9:33pm ET: Jim Bob felt that after all the counseling, he did not feel Josh was a threat in the home. He said, “Josh was a changed person.”
9:34pm ET: Michelle describes some of the safeguards the family put into place: boys don’t babysit, no playing hide and seek, no two going off alone and hiding, no being in the room alone, young ones don’t sit on big boys laps, etc.
9:38pm ET: Someone leaked the story of Josh Duggar’s to Oprah’s team in 2006. The three-year statute of limitation had passed, so no charges would be filed.
9:39pm ET: Megyn asked why they would launch a reality TV show knowing Josh’s past. Jim Bob says they had “nothing to hide. We had taken care of that years before. We had no fear. That was actually a sealed juvenile record. This was stuff under law that this would never come out.”
9:41pm ET: When the story broke in May, Jim Bob admits he didn’t want Josh’s past to come out but
9:42pm ET: Jim Bob is talking to lawyers about the woman who leaked the sealed juvenile report to InTouch. They may sue her.
9:43pm ET: Jim Bob says, “our daughters were shocked to hear [their story was leaked]. No victim wants their minor story to be told.”
9:44pm ET: Addressing those who call them hypocrites, “What Josh did was unexcusable, but not unforgivable,” echoing a quote family friend Mike Huckabee said.
9:45pm ET: Megyn asks Michelle about making robocalls comparing transgender people to child molesters, knowing what she knew about her son Josh. Michelle says protecting young girls is “common sense.” Jim says Josh “was a child preying on a child,” not a pedophile.
9:50pm ET: Megyn asks the Duggars if the backlash is greater because of their Christian beliefs. Michelle says yes. Jim Bob says Christians struggle everyday.
9:51pm ET: Megyn asks if the show will be canceled. Jim Bob says at this point, the family is trying to regroup from the attacks. He wonders why the press isn’t going after the system that released juvenile records.
9:52pm ET: Michelle says, “We trusted the police department. Our children poured out their hearts … and to have their trust betrayed … turned over to tabloid. As a momma, that breaks my heart for my girls. They’ve been victimized more by this than twelve years ago. In my heart, we haven’t been keeping secrets.”
9:59pm ET: Megyn asks Jill and Jessa if they feel like victims of molestation. Jill tearfully says, “we’re victims, they (the tabloids) can’t do that to us.” Jessa says the system set to protected kids has “greatly failed” them. Their interview will air Friday.
[Image via FOX NEWS.]