“As parents we felt, ‘We’re failures’,” Michelle Duggar says in Fox News Channel’s first glimpse her sit-down with Megyn Kelly.
“We tried to raise our kids to do what’s right — to know what’s right. And yet one of our children made really bad choices.”
Just a few hours earlier, In Touch published an update to its Duggar coverage – this one based on a report is from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office which, reported son Josh Duggar had, in March of 2002, come to his father to confess “that he had been sneaking into [redacted, his sisters’] room at night and had been touching [redacted, his sisters] on the breasts and vaginal areas while they were sleeping” in a common bedroom, that Josh went from sister to sister,and that it had occurred four to five times.
In Touch said it obtained this report, as it had with the Springdale police Department report on Josh Duggar, using the Freedom of Information Act.
Late last week the Fox News Channel primetime anchor landed tonight’s much-chased interview with the Duggar parents. Fox News will turn around the interview quickly to air in Kelly’s timeslot, 9 PM ET. The bulk of the interview, which will be conducted in their hometown in Arkansas, will air tonight, but FNC also has planned a one-hour Kelly File Special for Friday night.
News orgs had been chasing a Duggar interview since the Discovery Communications-owned network pulled repeats of its most popular series after In Touch published the since-destroyed police report showing their oldest son allegedly had fondled minor girls, first in July 2002 and again in March 2003.
TLC said it was “deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” as it took the hit series off the air for the time being, and advertisers lined up to say they would no longer run spots in the show.
The day the story broke, Josh Duggar resigned as executive director of FRC Action, the powerful conservative political action committee of the Family Research Council, and issued a statement on Facebook saying 12 years ago he had “acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” and that he years ago had “confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.”
His parents, meanwhile, posted a Facebook statement saying, “Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God.”
Josh’s statement was posted hours after In Touch published its report allegedly showing Jim Bob waited more than a year before taking his son to Arkansas police over the allegations. The investigation was never pursued fully, and the statute of limitations had run out.
“They very much understand their show and reputation are on the line,” Kelly told Deadline of this interview. But, she said, the Duggars also believe the show “has a chance still. It’s not totally done.”
“I think they knew they needed to speak to somebody and get their story out,” Kelly added — their story being that the information about their son and daughters was “released without their consent.”
To that end, Kelly said she was particularly interested to learn more about the police chief who gave the redacted report to In Touch. “It’s a little suspicious how it went down,” Kelly said adding, “Very clearly she had no business releasing” the police report.
That comment was made in advance of In Touch’s new report. And, the mayor, Doug Sprouse, has been quoted saying Springdale Police Chief Kathy O’Kelly had consulted with Springdale’s city attorney when the publication set out to get the report via a Freedom of Information Act, concluding together that the police report had to be released in accordance with the law.
Kelly ‘s interview will air on her show, The Kelly File tonight at 9 PM ET. Additionally, her sit-down with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will be turned into a one-hour Kelly File Special set for Friday.
In the Friday special Kelly File, Kelly will consult with experts in that special, she said. Among her questions, she says she will ask what are the stats on recidivism in these instances. “Is that person a child molester as we now understand that term, and what are the odds they will continue offending?” Kelly said.
She also said last night she intends to ask the Duggars why they wanted to be reality TV stars, particularly given what they’d been through with Josh and daughters prior to the launch of their TLC series in September 2008. “‘Were you nervous about that?’ I want to ask them if they lived in fear,” she said.