The Duggar family who gained fame in a TLC reality show, have denied their home was raided by homeland security officials last week due to a ‘criminal investigation.’
The family which featured in the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting issued a response amid local reports that their home in Tontitown, Arkansas, had been raided.
In a statement, the family told People on Tuesday: ‘We were shocked to see a news report today state that our home was raided by federal law enforcement agencies.
‘This is not true. To the best of our knowledge, it’s also not true that any member of our family is the target of any investigation of any kind.’
For ten seasons the show chronicled the home life of Arkansas couple Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children.
But TLC cancelled 19 Kids and Counting in 2015 shortly after revelations that Josh Duggar, then 27, molested four younger sisters.
The family statement added on Tuesday: ‘Living a life in the public’s eye has taught us that it is best not to reply to every rumor and piece of ‘fake news’ that is circulated online.
‘It would be a full-time job if we attempted to do so. However, because of tonight’s media coverage we thought it is important to address this rumor with you. Thank you for the love and support that we can always count on in you our fans and friends.”
KNWA reported that a homeland security investigation spokesman had said in relation to the alleged raid: ‘[I do not dispute the information that] HSI was present there pursuant to an ongoing federal criminal investigation.’
Jedidiah Duggar, who announced plans to run for Arkansas State Representative as a conservative, previously said that he was ‘unaware’ of the investigation.
‘I don’t live there, and I am not aware of any investigation,’ Jed, 20, told the news outlet.
Josh’s wife recently Anna recently spoke about the power of redemption four years after it was revealed that Josh molested four younger sisters as a teen and went on to cheat on her using the adultery website Ashley Madison.
In July this year, Anna, 30, shared several family photos from a trip to the St. Louis Zoo — with two prominently featuring her 31-year-old husband.
When a commenter told Anna that she loved seeing Josh in pictures after their difficult ‘journey,’ Anna responded: ‘Thank you for your kind words. Redemption is a beautiful thing!.’
Josh’s summer of scandals made headlines in 2015. First, InTouch magazine unearthed reports that Josh had molested four of his younger sisters and a fifth child back when he was a teenager.
Jill and Jessa later identified themselves as two of his victims, while police reports indicate that Jinger and Joy were the others.
Days after the news broke, it was discovered that Josh also had an account on the cheating website Ashley Madison, and he admitted to being unfaithful and having an ‘addiction’ to pornography.
Josh had kept himself mostly under-the-radar — and completely absent from the family TV show, Counting On — since 2015, when TLC’s original show 19 Kids and Counting was cancelled as a result of his behavior.
Josh had admitted to his parents in 2002 that he touched the breast area and genitals of the other children, including sisters Jill and Jessa, several times. Josh went to Christian counseling for several months as a result.
But it was only the first of the scandals. That same summer — just a month after Josh and Anna welcomed their fourth child, Meredith — a hacker released user information for the adultery website Ashley Madison and Josh was found among those who had used the services.
His profile included interests like ‘one-night stands and ‘experimenting with sex toys.’
Josh admitted publicly to infidelity and having a porn addiction, calling himself ‘the biggest hypocrite ever’ in a statement.
‘While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,’ he wrote.
‘I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Leah McDonald