In an exclusive statement to People on Thursday, 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar, his wife Anna, and his parents Jim Bob and Michelle are speaking out in response to reports that Josh was once accused of molesting five underage girls as a teen.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Josh, 27, says in the statement. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
Josh has resigned from his position at the Family Research Council as a result of the accusations becoming public, but his family has stood behind him.
“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives,” Jim Bob, 49, and Michelle, 48, said in a joint statement. “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.”
“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions,” Josh added. “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”
A rep for TLC did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
To read the full statement, head over to People.