Jinger Vuolo is reflecting on one of the hardest moments in her life. The former Counting On star details how she felt after her brother Josh Duggar’s past molestation scandal was made public in her new book, The Hope We Hold.
“My brain hadn’t quite caught up to the reality of what had happened in a few short hours,” Jinger writes in her book, out now. “Earlier that day, Dad had gathered my siblings and me to tell us that the worst trial in our family history, a trial we had long since dealt with and made our peace with, was now public knowledge.”
Josh was previously investigated by Springdale, Arkansas, police regarding allegations that he inappropriately touched five girls who were minors when he was 14. According to multiple reports, no charges were filed against him because the statute of limitations, which was three years at the time, had expired by the time of the 2006 investigation. Reports later confirmed that some of Josh’s victims are his sisters, including Jessa and Jill Duggar.
As “intimate details” about her siblings were “splashed across a magazine page and all over the internet for anyone and everyone to read,” Jinger says she “felt shell-shocked, as if a bomb had exploded.”
“I moved in a daze, living in a nightmare that I wished with all my heart wasn’t real,” the former 19 Kids and Counting star writes. “One of my siblings had made some sinful choices, but it had all been years ago. It had been awful, but we had dealt with it as a family. We’d sought the Lord, took the necessary steps to move toward healing, and offered up our forgiveness. Now that it was out in public, the old wound was open again, raw, painful.”
Her husband, Jeremy Vuolo, who co-wrote the book, recalled the Duggar family hiding out “for two weeks at a friend’s property,” and being moved by how his now-wife was holding up.
“Here was a woman in one of the greatest trials of her life, and she wasn’t crushed or unraveled. She was sweet, gracious, and hopeful,” he writes. “It was obvious that her confidence was still in Christ.”
19 Kids and Counting was canceled following the scandal.
Just last week, Josh was arrested in Washington County, Arkansas. On Friday, the 33-year-old former reality star pleaded not guilty to receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children during a Zoom court hearing.
According to court docs obtained by ET, in May 2019, Josh allegedly used the internet to download the material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under 12. If convicted, Josh faces up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on each count. A pretrial hearing is set for July 1, while the trial is scheduled to begin on July 6.
In a statement to ET, Josh’s lawyers, Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne, said, “Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment. He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do.”
Josh is currently being held at an Arkansas detention center. If he gets released on bail, he would be prohibited from seeing his six children and returning home. His wife, Anna, is currently pregnant with their seventh child.
After Josh pleaded not guilty, Jinger and Jeremy released a statement on social media, expressing how “disturbed” they are with the news of Jinger’s brother.
“We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh. While this case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice,” they said.
For more on Josh’s arrest, see below.
Josh Duggar Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Charges of Possession of Child Pornography
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