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What did Jim Bob, Michelle Duggar say after Josh Duggar's arrest? Internet slams parents 'no excuses, you knew'

Parents say 'it is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light' but social media is furious that they enabled 'abusive family dynamics'
Michelle Duggar, Jim Bob support son Josh Duggar after his arrest for child porn charges (The Duggar Family Instagram/  Washington County Sheriff's Office)
Michelle Duggar, Jim Bob support son Josh Duggar after his arrest for child porn charges (The Duggar Family Instagram/ Washington County Sheriff's Office)

The parents of Josh Duggar have finally spoken out about their son's arrest. The 33-year-old was arrested in Arkansas on 29 April, for charges related to possession of child pornography. It took a day for his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar to break their silence. When they did though, not everyone was happy.

The couple issued a brief statement and did not show any resentment or anger at Josh. They said, "We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious." They add, "it is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family." That statement has earned a lot of backlash on social media, with people fuming that it doesn't represent the seriousness of the charges. Duggar has pleaded not guilty and intends to fight the case. This isn't the first time Josh has been in the news for scandals and Jim and Michelle seem to reflect that with a neutral stance. Here's what we know about the couple and how they seem to have grown accustomed to Josh's repeated scandals. 


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Jim and Michelle Duggar in 2020 (Duggar Family Official via Facebook)

Who are Jim and Michelle?

Jim Bob is a real estate agent and politician. He was born in Springdale and attended Shiloh Christian School. It was there he met Michelle, and their romance began. The two instantly fell in love and married in 1984. Jim never bothered with college and went into business with nothing but his own wits. He got a real estate license and established Good Neighbor Realty the same year he got married. That business is still operational, and highly successful. In 2018 though, the state reportedly shut down two of his businesses for not filing crucial paperwork. One was Save-n-Go Inc, and the other Duggar Processing, LLC. However, his Duggar Properties remained in good standing. 

In 1999, Jim changed track and decided to run for political office. He successfully ran for Arkansas House of Representatives and served District 6 between 1999 and 2002. As a Republican, Jim served as the vice-chair of the House Corrections and Criminal Law Subcommittee and also participated in the committees on Insurance and Commerce and Judiciary. Rather than seek reelection, in 2002 Jim decided to aim bigger and mounted a campaign for the US Senate. He was defeated by incumbent Senator Tim Hutchinson. Undaunted, in 2006, he attempted to run for the Arkansas State Senate but lost to Bill Pritchard. 

Michelle and Jim Duggar promote their book during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 10, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

Michelle was a cheerleader in school and reportedly suffered from bulimia. It was love after the first date, with Michelle saying she prayed, "Father, I can't imagine anyone better than this that you have planned for me. He's such a Godly man". The couple married shortly after they graduated from high school at a local church. Reportedly, she baked the cake on her own and made her own bouquet. In the years since the couple gave birth to 19 children. As a result, Michelle appeared on multiple TV shows and documentaries. That led to '17 Kids and Counting', a regular series on TLC that was eventually canned due to allegations of abuse against Josh. 

In 2008, the couple released a book called 'The Duggars: 20 and Counting!', and followed it up in 2011 with a second book titled 'A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make it Work'. In 2014, Michelle briefly came under fire for an anti-LGBTQ robocall. She recorded a call opposing an anti-discrimination ordinance being debated in Fayetville. "The Fayetteville City Council is voting on an ordinance this Tuesday night that would allow men – yes, I said men – to use women’s and girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only. We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child. Parents, who do you want undressing next to your daughter at the public swimming pool’s private changing area?" she said. 

Jim and Michelle Duggar during their wedding ceremony. (Duggar Family Official via Facebook)

Jim and Michelle's earlier response to his scandals

In mid-May 2015, Duggar apologized for “wrongdoing” after a police report indicated he was investigated as a teen for inappropriately touching five underage girls. His sisters Jill, 25, and Jessa, 24, said at the time they had been two of the victims. Soon TLC suspended and then canceled their program '19 Kids and Counting'. At that time, according to reports, Jim and Michelle said, “When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.”


Later in 2015, there were reports that he was active on Ashley Madison, a cheating website for married people. Duggar had then admitted he was addicted to pornography. He also admitted he cheated on wife Anna with whom he has six children.

'Should be praying for victims' says Twitter

Following their statement, both Jim and Michelle have received heavy criticism on social media. One user tweeted, "Frankly, unless the official #Duggar family statement is "Our entire lives are a lie based on othering and hurting people" then I don't wanna hear it."


Another person slammed TLC who used to telecast the show based on the family's lives and said, "@TLC_PR Stop enabling abusive family dynamics. Stop glorifying parents having dozens of kids. Stop normalizing pedos & religious cults. You are culpable in the Josh Duggar case by virtue of your enabling his parents a platform for their sick cult."


"The Duggars are disgusting. This is your statement?!!!" another user said. One person slammed the couple and tweeted, "Those two need to reflect on the role they’ve had in enabling and excusing his criminal behavior for years"



Another social media user quoting a People report slammed the family saying: "Maybe just maybe you should’ve seriously dealt with his molesting his siblings and friends at 15, not a church program that helped you cover it up. Children and infants were molested because those like your son make it profitable. No excuses, you knew!"


"They got a lot of balls thinking anyone is praying for any of them. Their arrogance and holier than thou pretense sickens me. God will throw them all in hell" tweeted one. Another said, "Michelle & Jim Bob should be praying for #JoshDuggar's untold number of victims & also that their monster of a son is never in the presence of another child as long as he lives."



No strangers to controversy, it is likely the Duggars will remain silent while Josh's case is heard.