Dug­gars in Cri­sis THE BREAKUP

The once-in­de­struc­tible Duggar fam­ily is in sham­bles as Jim Bob and Michelle face the fight of their lives

In Touch (USA) - - Cover Story -

His name only came up once. On the Aug. 23 sea­son two pre­miere of Count­ing On, none of its stars ever men­tioned their dis­graced brother Josh. The only time his name was ut­tered was when his long-suf­fer­ing wife, Anna, 28, told a pro­ducer, “Joshua is back from re­hab and we’ve been work­ing on re­build­ing.” Josh, the el­dest Duggar sib­ling, re­turned to Arkansas in March af­ter spend­ing more than seven months in a faith-based treat­ment cen­ter for his sex ad­dic­tion. His name never came up again on the pre­miere. “It was as if,” says an in­sider, “they all went out of their way not to men­tion Josh.”

They did. Although Josh, 28, was orig­i­nally sup­posed to ap­pear on his fam­ily’s re­al­ity show this sea­son at the in­sis­tence of his par­ents, Jim Bob and Michelle — some­thing In Touch first re­ported in April — his sib­lings have put up a bit­ter fight. “There has been a re­volt within the Dug­gars,” a source close to the fam­ily tells In Touch ex­clu­sively. “Ev­ery­thing seems fine in pub­lic, but in­side the Duggar fam­ily home in Arkansas, it has been all-out war as Jim Bob and Michelle face off against their older chil­dren.” Jim Bob, 51, and Michelle, 49, wanted Josh to ap­pear on Count­ing On to try to win back pub­lic sup­port af­ter two dev­as­tat­ing scan­dals rocked the once tight-knit fam­ily. “But his sib­lings were not on board, and in the end Jim Bob and Michelle lost the bat­tle. They are now dis­traught and con­vinced the fam­ily is so frac­tured and bro­ken apart that it’s be­yond re­pair.”

Jessa was the mas­ter­mind be­hind it all. “She and her hus­band, Ben [See­wald], have been the most up­set about Josh,” ex­plains the fam­ily in­sider. Jessa, 23, came up with a plan to di­rect at­ten­tion onto fam­ily mem­bers more de­serv­ing than Josh, who first brought pub­lic shame to the fam­ily in May 2015 fol­low­ing In Touch’s exclusive rev­e­la­tion that as a teen he’d re­peat­edly mo­lested five fe­male mi­nors

UL­TI­MATE SHOW­DOWN “Jim Bob is fu­ri­ous,” says a fam­ily in­sider. “He never thought it would come to this.”

BE­YOND RE­PAIR “The fam­ily is fall­ing apart and, once again, the one to blame for Josh is all of this,” says a fam­ily in­sider.

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