19 Kids and Counting sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald sat down with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly for an exclusive Kelly File interview at their Arkansas home to discuss being victims of sexual molestation by their brother, Josh Duggar, when they were children.
The Friday sit-down followed Wednesday’s interview with 19 Kids parents Jim Bob andMichelle Duggar, who opened up about the sexual molestation allegations brought against Josh and the surfaced police report published by In Touch that revealed he allegedly fondled five girls, including his sisters and a family babysitter, as far back as 2002. Jim Bob told Kelly that the touching happened in the family home: the first time while the girls were sleeping (they had no memory of it) and the second and third time on the couch while the girls were awake.
Jill, 24, and Jessa, 22, shared with Kelly that the molestations occurred when Jill was 12 and Jessa was 9 or 10.
“You know, we didn’t choose to come out and tell our story. This wouldn’t have been our first choice,” Jill said about the news coming to light through the media. “As we’ve been seeing these headlines…we feel like as victims, we have to come out and speak,” she continued about the headlines the sisters believe are hyperbolized.
“For truth’s sake, we want to come out and set the record straight,” Jill said.
Jessa told Kelly that Josh touched them because he was “a little too curious about girls” and the touching was “mild.” Both girls said that their parents told them what happened and that they were “shocked” to find out that Josh had inappropriately touched them.
The Duggar parents sat down with each girl individually to discuss the “subtle” and “sly” touching that took place, according to Jessa. Soon after the parents discussed that Josh’s actions were wrong, Josh left the home and safeguards were set in place, including no hide and seek, girls not sitting on boys’ laps, no boys babysitting and locks on the girls doors at night (boys and girls had separate bedrooms).
“As a mother now, I look back and think my parents did such an amazing job for me,” Jill said about being a parent of her first son and similar safeguards she will set up.
The sisters both addressed that they forgave Josh individually and saw a life change in him after he returned from counseling and being sent to Little Rock, Arkansas to live with another family.
Kelly asked the sisters how they reacted to the police report surfacing. “We’re victims. They can’t do this to us,” Jill said while wiping away tears about the surfaced 2006 police report and the governmental system having “failed” them.
Jessa followed: “The system that was set up to protect kids, both those who make stupid mistakes or have problems like this in their life and the ones that are affected by those choices, it’s greatly failed.”
Jessa admitted that Josh’s actions were “very wrong,” but then went on to support him: “I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying. I’m like, that is so overboard and a lie, really. I mean, people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims.”
Read more: MSN