Josh Duggar spent several months at a rehabilitation facility in the wake of revelations that he’d molested his sisters as a teenager and cheated on his wife. Well, we now know that treatment didn’t work. It now seems that rather than take responsibility for his behavior, he now says it was caused by “external forces.”
Bonnie Fuller of Hollywood Life, a celebrity news site that is a sister publication to Variety, recently got her hands on the latest print edition of In Touch Weekly, the same magazine that cut America’s most famous babymakers down to size last year. In Touch reports that Josh plans to appear on TLC’s “Jill & Jessa: Counting On,” the spinoff to “19 Kids & Counting,” and “address everything he’s done.”
The plan reportedly called for his wife, Anna, to be by his side during this tell-all appearance. According to a source close to the family, Josh will maintain that God has “guided him to the right path.” But if you’re looking for him to own up to his actions, don’t bet on it. Reportedly, Josh now maintains that “external forces were to blame for his behavior.” Translation: he molested girls and cheated on Anna because the devil made him do it.
Many of you know that I was initially inclined to go easier on Josh than a number of other liberal bloggers, in part because he seemed to have the decency to admit what he did. When it emerged that he’d molested several girls during his teen years–including his younger sisters, Jill and Jessa–he didn’t whine that In Touch invaded his privacy. He confessed right away. He appeared to take the same approach when it emerged that he’d been a regular guest on Ashley Madison.
That made him look a thousand times better than the likes of Jerry Sandusky, who is still in complete denial. It also made him look a lot better than his parents, who I believed to be the real villains. After all, Jim Bob and Michelle either didn’t know or refused to understand that by dragging their feet in reporting his actions, they actually failed both him and their daughters.
But since then, evidence has emerged that proves beyond any doubt that Josh is the very stereotype of the self-absorbed one-percenter. We now know that he swiped the pictures of at least two innocent men while trolling for affairs. At least one of them seriously considered suing Josh. We also know that he kept trolling for affairs while he was engaged to Anna.
In other words, just like Donald Trump, Josh seemed to think that basic standards of decency were just things in his way. If he expects us to believe that “external forces” made him act like a self-absorbed jerk, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell him.
Within hours of Fuller’s report, a TLC executive told People’s Brittany King that any rumors about Josh appearing on “Counting On” are “absolutely untrue.” All things considered, it’s hard not to see why. The same edition of Life & Style that revealed Michelle is standing up to Jim Bob for the first time in memory also revealed that TLC has given the Duggars an ultimatum–if there is any sign of further instability in the family, they’re done.
That same edition revealed that Josh and Anna are in counseling, and are trying to work things out even as Anna’s family urges her to get out. Her brother, Daniel Keller, has a standing offer to help Anna and the kids pack up and leave. If Josh is really serious about healing his marriage, going on national television to deny responsibility for his behavior isn’t exactly the best way to do it.
Sounds like someone at TLC is trying to knock some sense into Josh–and not a moment too soon. After all, his parents had a chance to knock some sense into him when he molested those girls–and blew it eight ways to Sunday.