When the world first learned that Josh Duggar molested five young girls while he was in his teens, it was widely assumed that the entire Duggar family would quietly slink away into obscurity.
After all, it wasn’t just Josh who was guilty.
His parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, helped to hide Josh’s sex crimes, so as to ensure he wouldn’t be prosecuted.
So it came as something of a shock when the Duggars managed to rebuild their brand and land a second reality series.
Skeptical fans were assured that neither Josh nor his parents would be returning to television, but that promise was broken almost immediately, as Jim Bob and Michelle began making frequent appearances on Counting On.
Thus far, there have been no appearances by Josh on the show, but events of the past few months have had many fans assuming that the disgraced 29-year-old would eventually use his family’s platform to launch a public apology tour.
The Duggars seemed to be gradually exposing fans to the idea of a Josh cameo, and surprisingly, some diehard fans appeared to be in favor of the idea.
Now, however, it looks as though all public attempts to clear Josh’s name and help him earn the puclic’s forgiveness have been put on hold.
The first indication that the Duggars planned to begin rehabilitating Josh’s image came when Jill and Jessa Duggar both sued the Arkansas State Police and various media outlets for sharing the police records of Josh’s sex crimes with the public.
Jill and Jessa were two of Josh’s victims, and they feel that their privacy has been violated by reports that don’t use their name, but implicitly identify them.
“The lawsuit centered on the fact that police released information to a celebrity magazine about allegations that Duggar sexually abused his sisters when they were minors,” reports Arkansas Online.
“The plaintiffs claimed that the officials should not have released police documents to In Touch Weekly magazine. Duggar’s attorney Gregory Payne filed the one-sentence motion to withdraw Friday, and it was granted by U.S. District Judge Tim Brooks.”
Josh joined his sisters’ lawsuit, and it seemed part of a coordinated effort to portray the entire family (including Josh) as victims of a slanderous assault on their privacy.
Last week, however, Josh’s name was quietly removed from all court documents, and it appears that he is no longer suing.
On top of that, the family recently began re-introducing Josh on social media with the occasional mention of his name, or appearance in a group photo.
Those efforts have now stopped entirely.
Last week, Anna Duggar celebrated her birthday, and while her in-laws posted several photos of Anna and her kids, Josh can be seen in just one shot (above).
Additionally, the family made no mention of Josh in their multiple online messages to Anna:
“Happy birthday to our wonderful daughter-in-law, Anna,” they wrote in one Facebook post.
“You are such treasure to us in every way. We love you so much and thank God for you. We are so blessed to have you in our family!!”
Currently, Anna is pregnant with her fifth child, and it’s said that the family initially planned a delivery special episode for when she gives birth.
Now, it seems those plans have been scrapped, as viewers believe Josh is simply too toxic.
It looks like even the most hardcore Duggar fans draw the line somewhere.
Watch Counting On online to enjoy the Duggars Josh-free.