‘Counting On’: Jessa Duggar Reveals Why Things Were ‘Especially Difficult’ For Her When Josh’s Sexual Abuse Scandal Leaked

Jessa Duggar, who stars in Counting On alongside her massive family, was greatly affected by the 2015 resurfacing of Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal that took place in the early 2000s. It was difficult for the whole family to go through (not once, but twice), but in an older episode of the show, Duggar revealed that it was “especially difficult” for her compared to the rest of her family.

Jessa Duggar, center, stands with her siblings
Jessa Duggar, center, stands with her siblings — including Josh Duggar, behind her and to the left — in 2014. | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal rocked the Duggar family in 2015

Back in 2015, at the height of 19 Kids and Counting, news surfaced of old police reports, which showed that Josh Duggar had admitted to allegedly inappropriately touching several girls, including his own siblings, in the early 2000s. Josh, who was a young teenager at the time, reportedly told his father about what he’d done. He was sent away to a Christian camp to help repent for his mistakes, and the family had essentially moved on from the scandal. But when things resurfaced more than a decade later, it was difficult for the family to relive.

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Happy Resurrection Sunday! . w/ @ben_seewald

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Jessa Duggar was pregnant with her first child when Josh Duggar’s police reports were leaked.

TLC canceled the Duggars’ show and fired Josh from filming

In 2015, 19 Kids and Counting was at its height. The Duggars held beliefs that were far different from most modern Americans, but for the most part, they were respected reality stars. But everything changed when the police reports were published in the media. TLC discontinued 19 Kids and Counting after critics called for the show to be canceled.

The network replaced it with Jill and Jessa: Counting On, a show that followed the lives of Jill and Jessa Duggar, two of the older sisters who were newly married and trying to move past everything they’d been through. Josh was not allowed to film with the new show. But Jessa opened up in season 2 of the spinoff, saying everything was “especially difficult” for her to go through.

Jessa Duggar revealed it was ‘especially difficult’ for her

Jessa had been pregnant with her first child when the police reports were leaked, and in some ways, it overshadowed the excitement of starting a new chapter in life. But that wasn’t what made it so difficult to go through. On the show, Jessa opened up about how she had felt defeated when she stood up for Josh through everything, only to find out he was still hiding something.

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Sister time.

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Jessa Duggar and some of her sisters defended Josh before learning he was cheating on his wife.

“It was very difficult… I feel like it was especially difficult for me,” Jessa said. “I had spoke out in defense of Josh and had stood up for him, then there was another whole wave of things that came through. So it was really difficult for me… I stood up here, I spoke out for him, and there were things that he was hiding.”

Jessa had stood up for Josh in saying that he was a good brother, only to later learn that he’d been hiding the affairs he was having behind his wife’s back and his pornography addiction. It was hard for Jessa to deal with, knowing she’d spoken highly of him only to learn that he wasn’t actually being honest about other things in his life. These days, Josh still isn’t on the show, and Jessa hardly speaks of him on social media or while filming.