Josh’s scandals may have had more of an impact than we realized.
An emotional new clip from the Duggar family’s spinoff special, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, shows two of Josh’s younger brothers speaking about how the scandal has affected their views of their former role model.
“After everything kind of just started to settle down from the first release of stuff in the news about Josh, we got word of a second thing that we had no clue about,” John-David says about the Ashley Madison cheating scandal that broke soon after news that Josh had molested underage girls as a teenager. “That was a little bit more of a shock, probably, than the first stuff coming out, because you look at your brother and you want to think the best about him.”
His brother Joseph adds, “Even after the first thing that came out, when he was younger, I never had quite as close of a relationship as I did when I was really young. After time, it built back up. But whenever this next situation came up, it blew my mind. I had no idea.”
Joseph fights back tears as he continues, “I don’t think there’s any way that any of us could have known that my brother was living such a secret life. Just whenever somebody you respect the most is willing to get up and proclaim what we believe as Christians about being true to your wife — you never would expect that person to be the one that’s involved in it, and it broke my heart.”
But John-David really sums up the impact Josh’s actions have had on his relationships with his siblings.
“I know that I’ve got a whole bunch of younger siblings looking up to me, and I’ve got to be an example to them, because whatever I am, that’s what they want to be. I know that’s what it was for me and Josh,” he says. “One of the toughest things I ever had to tell my older brother was, ‘I don’t want to be like you anymore.'”