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The Duggar family’s friendship with the Holt family has been well-known to Duggar family followers for decades. However, their quiet feud was just rumors and assumptions until Josh Duggar was arrested for receiving and possessing child pornography. Bobye Holt’s bombshell testimony outlined Josh’s previous molestation of four of his siblings and another anonymous girl. Now, Jim and Bobye Holt are opening up about their distant relationship with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. The duo revealed during a podcast interview that Jim Bob Duggar uninvited them to family events. 

How close were the Duggars and the Holt family before Josh sexually abused his siblings and another girl? 

By the time most of America met the Duggar family, the Holt family and the Duggar family had fallen out of favor with each other. They, however, went way back. In a recent podcast interview with the SoJo files, Jim and Bobye explained that Jim and Jim Bob Duggar had been close friends from the time they were young children. 

Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar of The Learning Channel TV show "19 Kids and Counting" speak at the Values Voter Summit on September 17, 2010
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar | Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

When Jim and Bobye moved around during his military career, they always made time to come back and visit with Jim Bob, and Michelle. The kids in both families formed close relationships, too. Josh Duggar briefly dated Bobye and Jim’s daughter, Kaeleigh. Bobye noted that the Duggar kids referred to them as Aunt Bobye and Uncle Jim. 

That all changed when Josh admitted to molesting several of his siblings and a family friend. Bobye explained the Duggars told them what happened because Josh was dating their daughter. The two couple’s differed on their approach to dealing with Josh, and a rift formed. Their church even divided over it. 

Jim and Bobye Holt revealed that Jim Bob Duggar iced them out after a disagreement about Josh Duggar 

Jim and Bobye Holt have kept their feud with the Duggars mostly secret. Now that Josh has been convicted of possessing and receiving child sexual abuse material, they are speaking out. In an interview for the SoJo Files podcast, Jim and Bobye revealed that their relationship with Jim Bob and Michelle deteriorated after Jim suggested a harsher punishment for Josh’s teenage transactions. 

A close-up of Josh Duggar from the Duggar family in a suit at a conference
Josh Duggar speaks during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference | Kris Connor/Getty Images

The Holts, who are parents to 11 children, revealed that Jim Bob Duggar completely iced them out of the Duggar kids’ lives, going as far as to uninvite them to family weddings. Bobye and Jim explained to the anonymous podcast host that they had been invited to several Duggar weddings, only to be called by Jim Bob and told they were not welcome. 

Bobye revealed that she has run into some of the Duggars who questioned her absence at their events. When she explained that she and Jim had been uninvited, they were shocked. Bobye and Jim suggested Jim Bob and Michelle kept their children in the dark about the family feud. The Holts said they did not do the same with their children. 

A jury found Josh Duggar guilty on both child pornography charges

It seems that the Duggar family and the Holt family won’t be mending their relationship anytime soon. Regardless, Bobye’s testimony proved invaluable during Josh Duggar’s trial. On December 9, 2021, a jury found Josh Duggar guilty on both counts. Several months later, on May 25, Judge Timothy L. Brooks sentenced him to 12 years and 7 months behind bars. He will serve out his sentence at a federal prison in Texas. 


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Following the sentencing hearing, the prosecution noted that they believe Josh’s prior behavior factored into his sentence. Bobye was the star witness regarding Josh’s prior behavior. The prosecution requested 20 years behind bars. The defense asked for a lenient sentence of just five years in a federal correctional facility.