TLC has broken its silence over the child molestation scandal surrounding “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar, saying that it is “deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation.”
The network also confirmed that it has pulled all episodes of the reality series from the air, effective “immediately.”
“Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of ’19 Kids and Counting’ currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” the network said in a statement.
News broke this week that Duggar, the eldest son of the expansive reality TV clan, had been accused of sexually molesting five underage girls, some of them his sisters, when he was a teenager.
Duggar issued a statement on Thursday, saying that he had acted “inexcusably” in the past.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Duggar told People in a statement. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
In Touch Weekly initially reported on the allegations against Duggar on Tuesday, writing that his father had brought Josh to the Arkansas State Police and told the authorities he learned his son had engaged in inappropriate behavior after catching him leaving a young girl’s bedroom; however, according to In Touch, prosecutors were prevented from completing their investigation due to a “bizarre turn of events.”
TLC initially had a “19 Kids” marathon scheduled for Friday. A marathon that aired Thursday, the day of Duggar’s admission, drew harsh criticism on social media.
In light of the scandal, Duggar has resigned from his post on the Family Research Council, where he served as executive director of the organization’s legislative affiliate FRC Action.