Jinger Duggar Gets Real About Why Josh Duggar’s Arrest And Conviction Were Worse Because Of His 19 Kids And Counting Fame

While the Duggar siblings have occasionally spoken out about eldest brother Josh Duggar during his arrest, trial and ultimate conviction on several counts of child abuse materials, most of the time those comments have been about how ‘difficult emotionally’ Josh’s situation has been for the family or reactions about how the families of Duggar’s victims must feel. That changed a bit when his sister Jinger Duggar Vuolo published a book, and now she’s opened up about how it’s so much worse that her brother was a 19 Kids and Counting star before his arrest. 

In a new excerpt from her book, Becoming Free Indeed, Jinger Duggar Vuolo opened up about how Josh Duggar’s fame impacted how his arrest and subsequent incarceration were seen by “millions” of people who followed the case. She explained how if he hadn’t been famous he would still be in jail. However, since he was famous, his actions don’t just reflect on her brother as a person but on Christianity as a whole.

Even if he wasn't a public figure, he would still be in prison for his actions. But because millions know who Josh is, his sin gives Christ a bad name. Those who oppose Christianity can point to Josh as evidence that anyone who claims to walk with Jesus is a phony.

She's not wrong to note there was a spotlight on the 19 Kids and Counting star after his arrest. This was possibly more prominent because the public was already generally aware of previous reports Duggar had molested his sisters at a young age, which ultimately led to the cancellation of the TLC show. Also, his arrest over a computer that had child abuse materials on it led to TLC also ending the spinoff Counting On.  While he had not appeared on the latter show, his wife Anna had. So fame and the court case itself did heavily tie together. 

Along with Jinger's feelings on how her brother's fame reflected poorly on Christianity, in an interview with Insider, the former reality star discussed her deeper feelings on the matter. Though she’s taken pains to distance herself from her parents Jim Bob and Duggar’s conservative views (including how women in the family shouldn't wear pants), she is still deeply religious and feels her brother will have to account for his actions. 

The most important thing for any one of us is that we would come to know that we will each stand before God. And so I know that Josh will give an account for his crimes before God.I would pray that he would just cry out in repentance, ask forgiveness from God, and realize how wrong he has been. God can forgive even the worst of sinners. So that's just where my heart would be for him.

A while back we reported on how Jinger had written more about her brother’s situation. At the time she noted Josh Duggar “was living a lie” and revealed that she hasn’t spoken to her brother in two years. Depending on how accurate that estimate is, she either hadn’t spoken to him since before the TLC star’s arrest by federal agents in April of 2021or she stopped around the time that event happened. 

This might seem odd for a family who gets together seemingly so often, but Jinger Duggar Vuolo and her husband Jeremy Vuolo actually moved quite far away from the family compound in 2019. The two currently live in Los Angeles, where Jinger has become somewhat of a social media figure, and has now written a book. Her husband recently praised her coming out of her shell to talk about this hard stuff on Instagram, noting: 

She’s been vulnerable, which is not natural for her. Having lived her life in the public eye, she is a naturally guarded person. Many of you know this about her. But, she’s done it anyway. Why? Because she feels compelled. She wrote this book for you—for you who are hurting, you who’ve been hurt by spiritual leaders. She wants to encourage and rescue those who are confused. She knew going into this whole process that there would be hard questions. But she wanted to face them. She wanted to deal with the hardest realities of her life. And I can tell you, as I’ve been by her side, it hasn’t been easy. But God’s grace has been so clearly evident. I am left in awe of her eloquence, composure, and strength. She has handled difficult questions so well—bold and courageous, yet kind and merciful. Watching her has taught me much about grace.

Jinger Duggar's book Becoming Free Indeed is currently available at Amazon and other retailers. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.