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Jim Bob Duggar insists his two daughters, who were sexually molested as adolescents by their older brother Josh twelve years ago, have “totally forgiven” him and moved on with their lives.
In a new clip from Megyn Kelly‘s interview with the 19 Kids and Counting parents, Jim Bob says,”The girls [who have been identified as Jill, 24, and Jessa, 22] have totally forgiven Josh and gone on. And Josh is now a wonderful husband, father. He’s a godly man. And it’s just like, you know what, sometimes there’s young people that make mistakes, they get involved in alcohol and drugs and different things in their youth. And then they get treatment and they get therapy and they go on and they become very great people.”
“And so,” Jim Bob continues. “I think that’s the reason normally in society that we seal juvenile records. In our case this stuff was exposed because young people make stupid mistakes. And society as a whole is not wanting to hold juveniles, what they’ve done out for the public viewing.”
As for any lingering bitterness among the family, particularly between the girls and Josh, Jim Bob says there’s none.
“Our family has definitely gotten to the point that there’s no bitterness,” Jim Bob says. “As a matter of fact, forgiveness is not something you feel like doing, it’s really a choice. When people wrong us, you say, God, I choose to forgive this person. And sometimes people come back and ask for forgiveness and sometimes people don’t. It’s important just like Jesus was hanging on the cross, he said father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
In a transcript of the interview with sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, obtained by People, the girls echo their father.
“[Josh] is not a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist,” Jessa tells Kelly.
“Josh was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls,” Jessa adds, “and that got him into some trouble. And he made some bad choices, but, really, the extent of it was mild – inappropriate touching on fully clothed victims, most of it while [the] girls were sleeping.”
The full, second part of Kelly’s interview airs Friday on Fox at 9 p.m. ET.
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