’19 Kids and Counting’ star issues apology after molestation claims surface

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2014, file photo, Josh Duggar, executive director of FRC Action, speaks in favor the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Christian lobbying group, said Thursday, May 21, 2015, that he has accepted the resignation of Duggar in the wake of the reality TV star's apology for unspecified bad behavior as a young teen. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

(MEDIA GENERAL) – Josh Duggar, of reality TV fame, issued an apology Thursday after reports that he allegedly molested young girls as a teenager surfaced this week.

Duggar, 27, is the oldest member of the Duggar family which appears on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.”

“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 said in a post on Facebook.

“I confessed to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.”

First reported by In Touch magazine, an unearthed 2006 police report from Springdale, Arkansas, details the accusations and investigation of child molestation. The report is heavily redacted and does not include the name of the person accused of “forcible fondling.”

Duggar, who worked as the executive director of FRC Action, the non-profit lobbying arm of the Family Research Council, resigned from his position Thursday.

According to a statement from FRC leader Tony Perkins, Duggar resigned from his job because “he believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work.”

Duggar’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, also are listed in the police report. They issued a statement Thursday, as well.

“Back 12 years ago, our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. 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,” the parents said in a post on Facebook. “That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God.”

The popular TLC series first aired in 2008 – when the family comprised of 17 kids. The show is centered on the large family and has acted as a platform to share their closely held Christian beliefs. Multiple members of the family have come out to publicly support conservative politicians and conservative moral beliefs, including campaigning against same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination policies.

TLC has yet to comment on the accusations.

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