Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo have gone there, folks.
In promotion of their upcoming memoir, the TLC couple has finally opened up to the public about their family’s most taboo subject:
The fact that the former’s eldest sibling molested his own sisters back when he was a teenager – while her parents covered it up.
In 2015, as you must recall, the Duggars were placed squarely in the spotlight after multiple girls came forward and claimed Josh Duggar inappropriately touched them when he was 14.
Shortly afterwad, Josh admitted that he had cheated on his wife, Anna, via the adultery website Ashley Madison and subsequently went to rehab.
The two incidents were scandalous enough on their own.
But the molestation confession was made even worse after we learned that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar knew what had happened — and did not report Josh to the police.
They helped cover it up instead.
The family’s response to the huge controversy played out on Counting On, the 19 Kids and Counting spinoff.
“Walking through that that season, it was one of the hardest times of our lives,” Jinger now tells Us Weekly.
“It’s in those times where it’s not popular to be your friend, seeing how they responded really showed us the love of Christ through them and through their friendships.
“I think that was something that stood out to me and I saw the friends who came so close and were like, ‘Hey, I’ll just sit with you,’ ‘I’ll bring you a meal or hang out with you if you want to.'”
“In those times I thought, ‘Man, that really meant the most.’”
It is nice that you can discover who your true friends are after your brother brings perpetual shame to your family through some of the most heinous actions possible.
At the time, in a statement likely crafted by a PR firm, Josh released a lengthy statement.
“I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust,” Josh said.
“The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.”
He added: “As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences.”
“I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.”
“I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.”
TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting following this awful reveal (although the show was rebooted as Counting On before long) and Josh had not appeared on air since.
Jinger and Jeremy are trying to see the silver lining, however.
“Our family was way closer because of that, and in spite of that, I guess you’d say,” she told the aforementioned tabloid. “I will never forget how I felt in that moment.”
In conclusion, on this awkward topic?
“I think even everything that happens in our lives – because we’re in the public eye – it makes it more challenging,” she said.
“Because then it’s not just dealing with these things inwardly, but you have to give an answer to the world.
“That makes it a much tougher thing to walk through.”
The couple’s book, The Hope We Hold: Finding Peace in the Promises of God, will be released on May 4.
Anyone out there going to pick this one up for a fun beach read this summer?