Amy Duggar King, cousin of disgraced former reality star Josh Duggar — who is serving a 12-year sentence for child pornography — says he told her he “knew better” than to make her a victim when she confronted him.
Amy Duggar King could not believe that Jim Bob and Michelle protected their eldest son Josh to the point they didn’t even tell her about allegations of molestation. She found out when the world did … and almost immediately confronted her cousin about it.
“I was p—ed,” the former “19 Kids and Counting” star told Vanity Fair in a new interview. “I felt like I wasn’t worth telling … that they didn’t want to protect me.” Josh was accused of molesting four of his sisters. The allegations became public in 2015, which is when and how Amy found out.
Part of the reason she believes the family — which mainly refers to parents Jim Bob and Michelle — protected Josh is because, as she put it, “the IBLP [Institute in Basic Life Principles] prizes the first child.”
“Further, she said, “it doesn’t get much better than if it’s a son. They hold the family name and the family value.”
The Institute in Basic Life Principles is the controversial fundamentalist Christian organization that Jim Bob and Michelle are part of, with recent reports even suggesting they have risen to the top of the leadership ranks.
Amy argues that Josh’s position in the family afforded him certain protections, which she says had a dramatic impact on him. “If you’re valued from the moment you’ve been born and people hide your secrets and cover up things,” she said, “and you never get in trouble for the things that you’re doing, I believe you just become numb to how the world really is, and how the law really is.”
“It’s so sad how far it was taken, where he thought he could get away with anything,” she said. “They didn’t want anyone to know, they wanted to keep it inside their little bubble. Secrets breed in the IBLP. Things are hidden.”
At the time, Josh released a statement acknowledging wrongdoing and apologizing, but he was not criminally charged. Instead, his parents sent him to a faith-based counseling camp.
As soon as she found out, Amy said she went straight away and confronted Josh directly. He “was staying in a trailer and I went in there and I said, ‘How could you do this?'” she recalled. “I was very bold about that.”
She said that Josh told her he didn’t try anything with her because he “knew better.” Instead, she believes that he knew exactly what he was doing, choosing to instead target girls who wouldn’t speak out.
Her outrage didn’t stop with Josh, though, as she believes Jim Bob and Michelle covered for him, which she called “cringe-worthy” and “evil.”
“To think that someone holds a higher value than someone else is just so disgusting,” she told the outlet. This final scandal with Josh was the one that broke her association with her family. “My last straw was the last scandal with Josh. I can’t imagine protecting a predator,” she said. “I think that is the lowest of low, [and] there’s no going back.”
Amy was among those family members who took part in the four-part Amazon Prime docuseries “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets.” Jim Bob and Michelle denounced it immediately on their website, calling it “derogatory and sensationalized.”
Amy countered that by telling the couple to “stop playing the victim” in a TikTok posted on June 1, per InTouch Weekly.
“Newsflash: If you would have gotten Josh the real, true help that he needed a long time ago, actual therapy, we wouldn’t be in this mess,” she said. “Those beautiful girls wouldn’t have so much to heal from. You are not a victim here.”