One of “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar’s victims has spoken out for the first time, defending him against sex offender labels that have been lodged in recent weeks.
Jessa Duggar, now 22, was a child when her older brother acted inappropriately with her. The younger Duggar is one of five victims, a group that also includes her sister Jill Duggar.
Jessa called her brother’s actions “very wrong” in a portion of a new interview with Megyn Kelly that aired Wednesday night on the Fox News Channel, though she stopped short of labeling him a child molester.
“I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying,” Jessa told Kelly. “I’m like, ‘That is so overboard and a lie really.’ I mean people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims.”
In a previously released teaser, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the parents of the “19 Kids and Counting” family, spoke of being “devastated” when Josh came to them with the revelation of his actions.
“I think as parents we felt, ‘We’re failures.’ You know, here we tried to raise our kids to do what’s right, to know what’s right, and yet one of our children made really bad choices,” Duggar told Kelly in the clip. “And I think, as a parent, we were devastated.”
The entire interview aired on “The Kelly File” Wednesday at 9 p.m. on Fox News.