Josh Duggar’s Trial: Where Are Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar?

Josh Duggar’s trial started on November 30. Duggar family critics were quick to notice that while several Duggar family members filtered in and out of the courthouse, two familiar faces were mostly absent. Josh’s parents, Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar, appeared to go underground since announcing Jim Bob’s political candidacy. Jim Bob has since surfaced, but where is Michelle?

Jim Bob Duggar appeared in court for the first time since the evidentiary hearing

Michelle and Jim Bob decided to take a break from Arkansas just as Josh headed into various motion hearings back in September. The couple took several of their youngest children on a road trip across the United States. They’ve since returned home to Arkansas but have kept a low public profile. Jim Bob and his wife were noticeably absent from the courthouse during the first week of Josh Duggar’s trial. 

That has all changed now. Photographers for several media publications captured Jim Bob headed into the courthouse on December 7. According to several people inside the courtroom, Jim Bob opted to sit toward the back of the room with Austin Forsyth, his son-in-law. 

Josh Duggar's mugshot take in April 2021. Josh Duggar's trial began on Nov. 30
Josh Duggar | Washington County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

Jim Bob was forced to testify during an evidentiary hearing the day before jury selection. He did not appear on a witness list for Josh Duggar’s trial, though. Two Duggar siblings did appear on the witness list. Neither has been spotted at the courthouse. They haven’t taken the stand yet, either. 

Michelle Duggar has yet to appear at the courthouse 

While Jim Bob stepped out to appear at the courthouse on Tuesday, his wife, Michelle, is still a very obvious no-show. In fact, Michelle has not been seen in public in several weeks, and it doesn’t look like she’ll be appearing at Josh’s trial anytime soon. Some family followers have theorized that Michelle is staying back at the Duggar family compound to care for Josh and Anna Duggar’s seven children

Michelle Duggar speaks during a panel discussion before promoting the book "A Love That Multiplies"
Michelle Duggar | Kris Connor/Getty Images

Before his arrest, Josh and his wife and children lived in a converted warehouse on the Duggar family property. Josh has been living in the home of a court-approved custodian since his release on bond. The children, the oldest of whom is 12, can not live with their father. It is assumed Anna and the kids have remained on the Duggar family property since Josh’s arrest. 

Which Duggars have appeared at the trial? 

While only two Duggars were named on a list of potential witnesses, several others have appeared at the courthouse during Josh Duggar’s trial. During the first few days of testimony, cameras captured Anna Duggar, Derick Dillard, and Austin Forsyth entering the federal building. Later in the week, Joy-Anna Forsyth and Justin Duggar were also seen. Justin, 19, was dragged on social media for his behavior while leaving the trial. Even his cousin, Amy Duggar King, took to Twitter to question Justin’s decision to give cameras a thumbs-up as he left court. 

Week two of Josh Duggar’s trial began on Monday. A new week brought several more Duggar family members into the courthouse, although the reasons for their attendances remain unclear. Media photographers captured Jana Duggar, along with a woman who appeared to be her friend Laura DeMasie, walking out of the courthouse for lunch.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar at the Values Voter Summit in 2010
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar | Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Duggar family followers have noted that none of the unmarried Duggars were on hand for the first part of the trial. Now that the defense has begun calling witnesses, several single siblings have been spotted. The U.S. Sun also reported that Jason Duggar and James Duggar were on hand to hear testimony. Jason, 21, and James, 20, still live at home with their parents. Jana, 31, is also single and remains at home with Jim Bob and Michelle. Jana was a no-show during the first week of testimony, too.