Josh Duggar, a star in TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" who has been under fire after a report came out that he allegedly molested five underage girls in the 2000s, including his sisters, has broken his silence.
"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," Josh said in a statement to People. "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."
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Although he's admitted to the wrongdoing, he cannot be charged with the crimes as the statute of limitations has run out. His family, though, is still remaining by his side.
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"Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives," Josh's parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said in a joint statement. "When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before."
Their statement continues, "Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God's kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us - even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey - the good times and the difficult times - cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything."
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Josh's wife, Anna, whom he shares three children with (they're expecting another in July), was even aware of the incidents, saying she knew about them two years before they got engaged.
"I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock," she says. "When my family and I first visited the Duggar home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it. For Josh, he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was - even every difficult past mistakes."
The allegations were originally brought to light in 2006 as the family was to appear on the Oprah show. Just before their appearance, Oprah's production company received a letter telling them what Josh had done. The production company forwarded the letter to authorities.
Since the allegations came to light, Josh has resigned as Executive Director of the Family Research Council.
"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions," Josh said in his statement. "I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption."
It is also being reported that all investigation documents pertaining to the case will be destroyed to that victims -- at the time, all of them underage -- will not be identified.
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