Josh Duggar: What to Know About the Family's Eldest Child — from 19 Kids and Counting to His Arrest

Josh Duggar: What to Know About the Family's Eldest Child — from 19 Kids and Counting to His Arrest - In the nearly six years since 19 Kids and Counting was canceled by TLC, Josh Duggar has faced a series of controversies that have rocked him and his famous family.

On Thursday, the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar was taken into custody in Arkansas, where he is currently being held in jail without bond. A representative for the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed to PEOPLE that he was arrested by Homeland Security. Online jail records do not indicate what charges he was arrested on when he was booked.

Following his arrest, KNWA reported that Josh is expected to go before a judge on Friday.

Unfortunately for Josh, 33, this isn't his first scandal that has made headlines since he rose to fame on TLC over a decade ago.

Here's what to know about Josh:

Meet the Duggars: 19 Kids and Counting

In 2008, TLC introduced audiences to the lives of Jim Bob, his wife Michelle and their 19 children. Along with Josh, the couple are parents to Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace and Josie.

The reality series followed the conservative family, taking audiences inside their Arkansas home and personal lives — including Josh's wedding to wife Anna Duggar.

But after nine seasons on air, the show was canceled in the wake of Josh's molestation scandal.

Josh's Molestation Scandal

In 2015, news broke that Josh had allegedly molested five underage girls as a teenager. Two of his sisters, Jill, 29, and Jessa Seewald, 28, later came forward as two of the victims, insisting they had already "moved on" and forgiven their brother when the news surfaced.

In his statement to PEOPLE at the time, Josh said, "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."

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

However, as the reports revealed, Josh's three-month stay in a treatment program at the age of 14 in Little Rock, Arkansas, was not actually run by a certified counselor but by a family friend of the Duggars who was in the home-remodeling business. Josh was only put through "hard physical work."

Speaking to Megyn Kelly in an interview for Fox News, Jim Bob and Michelle spoke publicly for the first time after the scandal, saying Josh first touched his sisters improperly while they were sleeping.

Describing it as "one of the darkest times our family has ever gone through," Jim Bob said he and Michelle put safeguards in place to make sure nothing else happened.

"We watched him like all the time," said Jim Bob. "I took him to work with me. We just poured our life into him."

When Kelly asked if they worried that the treatment didn't work considering how many children were in the house, Jim Bob said, "No. Josh is a changed person."

Kelly also spoke to Jessa and Jill during the interview. When asked whether they considered themselves to be victims, Jessa said that while what her brother did was "very wrong," she said she wanted to speak up against people who are calling him a child molester, pedophile or rapist.

"I'm like, that is so overboard and a lie really," said Jessa. "I mean people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims."

A Marriage and Family of His Own — Shaken by Infidelity

Josh met Anna at a Christian homeschooling convention back in 2006 when she was a teen. The pair began courting and wed two years later in September 2008.

Just three months after saying "I do" to Anna, Josh — who ran his own car dealership in Springdale, Arkansas — told PEOPLE, "Married life has been great. It's definitely quieter than being in a house with so many kids. When I go to the grocery store, it feels strange only having one shopping cart."

"I would welcome a big family," Josh said. "My parents have been wonderful examples." Added Anna: "I would love to have as many children as God would bless us with. Growing up in a large family, and Joshua in a mega-family, you learn so much more. I think a large family helps you prepare for life."

A little more than a year after Josh and Anna tied the knot, they welcomed their first child, daughter Mackynzie Renée, 11, who was later followed by siblings Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, and Meredith, 5.

But just one month after the birth of their fourth child, scandal once again rocked Josh and Anna's marriage in 2015. (The duo had been living in Washington, D.C., where he was working as a lobbyist for the highly conservative and controversial Family Research Council.)

In August 2015, Gawker reported that the eldest Duggar son appeared to have had active accounts on Ashley Madison, a website created to facilitate cheating on your spouse.

Josh ultimately confessed to having a pornography addiction and cheating on his wife in an apologetic statement on the Duggar family website.

"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. 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. 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," the statement read.

Less than a week after making his confession, Josh sought treatment at a faith-based rehabilitation center in Rockford, Illinois. After returning to his family's home state of Arkansas, Josh and Anna revealed that they had entered marriage counseling following their difficult year.

The couple went on to have two more children: son Mason Garrett, 3, and daughter Maryella Hope, who turns 2 in November.

Josh Duggar

Within the past week — just days before Josh's arrest — Anna announced that she and her husband are expecting their seventh child together, a baby girl.

"It's a GIRL!!!!! 🎀 We are overjoyed to announce baby seven is on the way and we can't wait to hold her in our arms this fall!" she wrote on Instagram.

Legal Woes

Most recently, Josh faced a real estate lawsuit in 2019. In September of that year, reported that a three-day jury trial was set for Josh, who was "accused of fraud and is being sued for 'quiet title' and breaching a contract, according to court records." In October, KNWA reported that Josh lost the lawsuit due to him missing a court date.

Josh's place of employment, an Arkansas car dealership, was also previously raided by Homeland Security as part of an "ongoing federal investigation" in November 2019, authorities told TV station KNWA at the time. It was unclear whether Josh was the focus of the investigation.

Various outlets had previously reported that Homeland Security had raided the Duggar family home, which they denied.

"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," a rep for the family told PEOPLE in a statement following the reports.

Source : people  

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