A Duck Dynasty star has revealed he was the victim of childhood sexual abuse that occurred in a most unlikely place — one that will make parents rethink their children’s daily routines.
In his new book The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness, Jep Robertson reveals he was bullied by older kids on the school bus, and when one came to his aid as his “protector,” she soon turned into his abuser.
“I was six, and it was on a school bus and it was an older girl,” Robertson told Entertainment Tonight. “Back then, the high school students would ride on the same bus as the grade school. There was this girl there that was just real mean… I don’t know, but it was a lot of things took place — scary stuff. It was tough.”
He went into greater detail in his book.
“An older girl started sitting next to me. She seemed sweet at first. She’d come sit beside me, like a motherly figure almost. I remember her being sweet and taking care of me. I liked to sit in the back so she’d come sit with me.”
“After a while the girl started doing strange things. She’d take my hands and push them up under her shirt and tell me I was tickling her. Then she started making me pull down my pants. It was awkward. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew something wasn’t right.”
While he kept the abuse a secret for many years, it definitely affected his childhood.
“I didn’t want to go to school. I had a lot of absences,” Robertson told ET. “My mom always thought I was sick and there was definitely other reasons I didn’t want to go to school. I think for a while I just tried to bury it so deep that I kind of forgot about it for a while.”
“I don’t know if I necessarily consciously wanted to [keep it a secret],” he continued. “I was more embarrassed. I think in the end I didn’t want my mom and dad to think they did anything wrong, and they didn’t. It was just one of those things that happened, and I think it took me a long time to realize what had happened and how it affected me.
“Like I’ve said before I don’t think anything that happened to me made me do anything bad. I hear people say that. I do think it affected the way I look at certain things. I was really scared of girls and just women in general, but I think God had a plan for that.
“I know it sounds weird, but it’s helped me now that I have a bunch of girls. I think it helps us really communicate with them on what’s right and what’s wrong — where you should be touched or not be touched. It’s a tough thing to go through, but you just kind of live and go through it and make the most of it.”
The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness, co-authored with his wife, Jessica, will be available on newsstands June 23. The new season of Duck Dynasty begins airing on A&E June 24.