Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar speak out on behalf of family after TLC cancels Counting On following son Josh’s arrest for child pornography: ‘The most difficult and painful moments our family has ever faced’
- TLC announced it would ‘not be producing additional seasons of Counting On’ to give the Duggars the ‘opportunity to address their situation privately’ on June 29
- The ‘situation’ appeared to be a direct reference to the couple’s son Josh Duggar, 33, who was arrested in April on child porn charges and is currently out on bail
- Josh Duggar hasn’t appeared on the family’s TLC’s show since it was rebranded to Counting On in 2015 — following his previous sexual abuse scandal for molesting his sisters
- A judge pushed the start of Josh’s trial from July 6 to November 30, 2021
- Jinger Duggar and husband Jeremy Vuolo said they ‘wholeheartedly agree’ with TLC’s decision to cancel Counting On as her brother awaits trial
The Duggar family is speaking out following TLC’s recent decision to cease filming their reality series Counting On after 11 seasons on the network.
Jim Bob Duggar and his wife Michelle Duggar released a statement on Saturday, July 3, on behalf of the family, which comes some two months after their eldest son, Josh Duggar, was arrested on two counts of child pornography.
Earlier this week, TLC stated they would ‘not be producing additional seasons of Counting On’ because they ‘feel it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately.’
Family statement: Jim Bob Duggar and wife Michelle Duggar released a statement on Saturday, July 3, on behalf of the family, which comes about two months after their eldest son, Josh Duggar, was arrested on two counts of child pornography
‘It is hard to believe that more than 17 years have passed since we were first contacted by a production company wanting to do a one-hour documentary about the logistics of raising 14 children,’ the Duggar family statement began.
‘Our family has grown (and grown up!) before our eyes and on national television, and the journey has been miraculous—following God is an exciting adventure!’
They went on to reveal that one of the most ‘treasured moments’ during the run of the show was when they ‘met children across the country who are alive today because of our testimony that children are a blessing—a special gift from God—and that the only real hope for individuals and families is a close relationship with Jesus Christ.’
Grateful: The family reminisced about the 17-years since they were first contacted avout doing a documentary about raising 14 children; they also wrote how its been an ‘amazing honor to share our lives, our faith, and our story with you—including some of the most difficult and painful moments our family has ever faced’
Over: TLC recently announced it ‘will not be producing additional seasons of Counting On’ and said it’s ‘important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately’ in the wake of John Duggar’s arrest
Serious allegations: Josh Duggar, 33, was arrested on April 29 and charged with receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material on his computer; this is Duggar’s mugshot from April
It’s at this point that the Duggars indirectly acknowledged the toll Josh’s arrest has had on the family.
‘Since we began filming so long ago, we’ve had the amazing honor to share our lives, our faith, and our story with you—including some of the most difficult and painful moments our family has ever faced,’ it read. ‘We are full of deep gratitude for the love shown to us and the prayers of so many who have sustained us both now and through the years.’
Turning to the future, the Duggars said they are looking forward to all the ‘new adventures and endeavors that may come out way’, considering they have so many grown children and grandchildren.
They concluded the statement by thanking the film crew, and others behind the scenes, who have become ‘like family’ over the years.
‘The wonderful experiences that filming has provided us will be treasured always, and we look forward to discovering what’s next for our family and sharing more with you along the way!’
Speaking out: Jinger Duggar, Jim Bob and Michelle’s 27-year-old daughter, and her husband Jeremy Vuolo said that they ‘wholeheartedly agree’ with TLC’s decision to cancel the family TV show, Counting On, in a staement on Tuesday
Giving thanks: ‘We are grateful for TLC giving us the opportunity to be on their network over the years and their kindness towards the Vuolo family. It’s been a remarkable journey,’ Duggar and Vuolo wrote in their statement
Fall out: Josh Duggar has not appeared on the family’s TLC’s show since it was rebranded from 19 Kids And Counting to Counting On in 2015 — following his previous sexual abuse scandal for molesting his sisters
On Tuesday, Jinger Duggar, Jim Bob and Michelle’s 27-year-old daughter, and her husband, Jeremy Vuolo, said they ‘wholeheartedly agree’ with TLC’s decision to cancel Counting On as her brother Josh Duggar awaits trial in his child pornography case.
They too shared gratitude towards TLC for the opportunity to be on the network, and the ‘kindness’ the Vuolo family received over the years.
‘We’d like to thank our fans, friends and the amazing film crew who have shown us love and support. We look forward to continuing our creative journey in Los Angeles and seeing what the future holds.’
Cousin Amy King — who appeared in early episodes of 19 Kids And Counting and was billed as the ‘rebel’ Duggar who didn’t follow a strict evangelical lifestyle — has gone public with her reaction to the recent cancelation.
On Twitter, she shared a black and white image featuring a television that reads: ‘It’s all lies, darling.’ And in an Instagram video, she shared hinted that she would love to be able to share Duggar family secrets now that the show is over — but is unsure if she is still legally silenced by an NDA she signed.
‘Question for anyone out there who is a lawyer, a.k.a. Derick,’ she began, tagging Jill’s husband Derick Dillard, who just graduated from law school.
‘Once a show is canceled, does that mean that if anyone has signed an NDA, is that canceled as well? Since there’s no show to protect?’ she asks.
‘I have a feeling that things are going to get very interesting,’ she goes on, raising her eyebrows.
Ready to talk: Cousin Amy King commented on the cancelation, and pondered whether it meant her NDA is now void and she can talk about her family to the press
Josh, 33, the eldest of Jim Bob and Michelle’s 19 children, forced the family into a harsh spotlight on April 29 when he was arrested by U.S. Marshalls on federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography on his computer. The federal grand jury’s indictment accuses Josh Duggar of having ‘knowingly’ received pornographic images of children who were under 12 years old.
After pleading not guilty in April, the start date of the trial was pushed from July 6 to November 30, 2021.
Josh’s lawyers had asked that the trial be pushed to a date ‘in or after February 2022,’ calling the case ‘complex’ with a ‘several-year federal investigation’ and saying they expect the trial to involve ‘computer forensic evidence and anticipated expert opinion testimony.’
They said they have ‘retained an independent computer forensic expert who must conduct a computer forensic examination of each of the devices at issue — a time-consuming process that requires review at a government facility for the one device the Government alleges contained child pornography.’
Defense lawyers maintain the computer forensic expert must ‘conduct a time-intensive process of reviewing the remaining devices that the Government does not allege contained child pornography,’ which they say could take several months. But prosecutors in Arkansas objected, telling the court they would agree to a ‘reasonable continuance’ of three months but said postponing the trial to next year ‘would result in unnecessary delay.’
Prosecutors suggested a three month delay would allow Josh’s lead attorney Justin Gelfand to prepare for his other criminal trials scheduled for September, October, and November, but ‘there exists no legally or factually valid reason supporting a continuance until February of 2022.
Painting a picture: Amy King also shared this image on Twitter showing a person with a TV on their head and the words: ‘It’s all lies, darling’
Legal ease: Amy King asked Jill’s husband Derick, who just graduated from law school, to weigh in on her NDA question
Josh is facing charges stemming from a 2019 raid on his now-closed car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, where investigators seized his computer and cellphone, and an agent testified that they found 65 child sexual abuse images showing a young girl. Agents also allegedly found a two-minute video that showed a man sexually abusing two young girls, aged between five and 10-years-old.
That agent claims about 200 child sexual abuse images found on the computer were located in ‘unallocated space,’ which means someone tried to delete them. He described the images found on Josh’s computer as ‘in the top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.’
The Arkansas native is alleged to have downloaded the child sexual abuse material online back on May 14, 15, and 16 of 2019.
A U.S. chief magistrate judge granted Duggar conditional bail at a bond hearing on May 5, and he was released from jail and transferred into the custody of a third-party custodian, which turned out to be the home of LaCount and Maria Reber.
As part of the conditions for his bail, he was permitted to have contact with his six children only in the presence of his pregnant wife Anna, who’s convinced that he is innocent.
He must also wear an ankle monitor, have a probation officer’s permission to leave the third-party custodians’ home, cannot access the internet, and cannot be inside a residence where firearms are stored.
Trial awaiting: Josh Duggar was set to go on trial next month on child porn charges, but the judge pushed the start date back from July 6 to November 30, 2021
Bail conditions: Out on bail, the Arkansas native is allowed to see his six children with pregnant wife Anna under supervision
The charges: Josh Duggar was released on bail while he awaits trial for receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material
Though Josh has not appeared on the family’s TLC’s show since 19 Kids And Counting was rebranded to Counting On in 2015 — following his previous sexual abuse scandal, critics have called for the network to pull their show from the air and stop contributing to family patriarch Jim Bob’s bank account. Vocal critics even went as far as to launch petitions during its effort to get the reality show canceled.
It has previously been asserted — by Jill Duggar’s husband Derick Dillard — that only Jim Bob got paid for 19 Kids And Counting and the spinoff, Counting On. Since Josh’s arrest, critics asserted that Jim Bob is likely paying for his son’s defense with TLC’s paychecks — which thousands of people said should come to an end.
It’s not yet known whether TLC, the Duggars or Vuolos will consider a rebranding, or even a spinoff, show in the future, or that the recent cancelation is the absolute end of the family airing on TLC
In 2015, when InTouch unearthed old police reports documenting how Josh had sexually abused four of his younger siblings, TLC canceled 19 Kids And Counting, but replaced it months later with Counting On.
Though it was advertised as a new show about the married children and their growing families, it has included every member of the Duggar family except for Josh, with many scenes filmed at Jim Bob and Michelle’s house.
Third party: LaCount and Maria Reber agreed to take Josh in while he’s on house arrest
The allegations: Josh Duggar is alleged to have downloaded child sexual abuse material online back on May 14, 15, and 16 of 2019
Not buying it! Josh’s wife, Anna, reportedly is convinced he’s innocent of the child pornography charges— and blames his parents for his arrest
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