Jill and Jessa Duggar were thrown into a whirlwind recently.
The two 19 Kids & Counting stars opened up tonight after parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar broke their silence regarding brother Josh Duggar's molestation controversy last night. After identifying themselves as two of the five victims named in the police report, Jill and Jessa admit the entire ordeal was difficult to go through, but also state that it wasn't nearly as bad as what they've had to endure these past few weeks with the media.
"I don't think we can exclude today," Jessa tells Fox News' Megyn Kelly during their exclusive sit-down tonight. "Definitely it was difficult whenever all this came up, the shock of this happening and then talking about it with the family and counseling, I mean, every step was kind of like difficult to walk through, but I'd definitely say that these past two weeks have been a thousand times worse for us."
Jill couldn't hold back tears when recalling the moment she realized this story started making headlines. "I was in tears. I couldn't believe what was going on. Whenever I heard the police reports had been released, I said what...They didn't have the right to do this. We're victims. They can't do this to us. And they did."
She continued, "Everything was distorted. And so we feel like our story was not being told. And we felt like it shouldn't have been told. The victims are the only ones that can speak for themselves. So now that it's already been warped into however they want to portray it, then we felt like that's why Jessa and I wanted to come out and just say that's not what happened. We've dealt with it, we've taken care of it."
The story of Josh's alleged molestation case was first brought to light by InTouch Weekly, which Jill explained, "They're used to exploiting women. They have the parent company…
"Well, Bauer, they're a major porn provider," Jessa added. "Maybe their mindset they're just used to making objects out of women and maybe we just didn't seem any different."
Jill explained why the sisters sat down with Fox News to discuss the ordeal, telling Kelly, "We didn't choose to come out. But now that the story has been brought about, we feel like as we've been seeing these headlines, as we've been seeing things that people are saying about our family, we feel like as victims we have to come out and speak.
"This is something like we chose to do. Nobody asked us to do this. Jessa and I were talking and we were like, oh, my goodness, most of the stuff out there is lies, it's not true. For truth's sake, want to come out and set the record straight."
So what's the truth? As you already know, Jessa and Jill completely defend their brother, and Jessa states that his actions were "very subtle" and kept noting that the girls "weren't aware" because they were sleeping.
"And for us we realize this is serious but at the same time it wasn't like a horror story or this terrible thing where we were like, oh, my goodness," she continued. "And my parents, looking back as an adult, they set up safety guards in our house. They sent josh away. He got help. When he came back, he was a totally different person."
Jill said, "You know, when this happened, when my dad and mom sat down with us and shared what happened and josh asked us to forgive him, we had to make that choice that I think everyone has to make and my dad explained to us, he said you know there's a difference between forgiveness and trust. That's not the same thing.
"You forgive someone and then you have boundaries. Forgiveness with boundaries and so trust comes later. You know, Josh destroyed that trust at the beginning, and so he had to rebuild that. And so I think when…he asked us to forgive him, that was the point of rebuilding."
She later mentioned, "As a mother now, I look back and say my parents did such an amazing job…I think not only taking the legal actions that they did and then going the extra mile and I see as a mom I hope that I can set the same safeguards in my family that they did and reaching the heart of their children. And not only trying to take care of josh but us girls."
Jessa adds, "If you've had failures in your past, it doesn't mean you can't be changed. I think the real issue is people are making this sound like it happened yesterday and that it happened yesterday. It happened 12 years ago when he was a child himself. I think seeing the change in his life, we witnessed it, we know."