In their first interview since allegations emerged that their son had molested several underage girls, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar defended their handling of his behavior and their later decision to start a reality show about their family.
Four of the five girls their son Josh molested were his sisters, his parents told Megyn Kelly, the anchor of "The Kelly File" on Fox News Channel, on Wednesday night.
Both parents excused their son's behavior and praised him for admitting to them that he had inappropriately touched the girls. "Looking back, we did the best we could under the circumstances," Jim Bob Duggar said. "He was still a kid. He was still a juvenile. He wasn't an adult," he added. "This was not rape or anything like that. This was touching someone over their clothes."
The Duggars said they sent Josh to counseling and had him talk to police.
The interview on Fox News, which was pretaped at the Duggars' home in Arkansas, came roughly two weeks after TLC said it was withdrawing the Duggars' reality show, "19 Kids and Counting," from its lineup. The show follows the Duggar family — Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children — who are conservative Christians. That decision followed a report in In Touch magazine that Josh, now 27, had been investigated for molesting underage girls.
Kelly also spoke to two of the sisters, Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard. That interview will air Friday. Seewald said that she was one of the victims and that what Josh did was "very wrong." "I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist," she said. "I'm like, that is so overboard and a lie, really."
Woodson honored with poetry title
Jacqueline Woodson, last fall's National Book Award winner for young people's literature, has a new honor as young people's poet laureate. The Chicago-based Poetry Foundation announced that Woodson has been given the title "in recognition of a career devoted to writing exceptional poetry for young readers." The 52-year-old New York City writer receives a $25,000 cash prize, and will advise the foundation on poetry projects. Woodson was cited by National Book Award judges in November for "Brown Girl Dreaming," an autobiographical novel in verse.
captured: A man convicted of stalking actress Mila Kunis was arrested Wednesday, four days after he escaped a mental health facility in Pomona, Calif., authorities said. Stuart Lynn Dunn, 30, was sentenced in 2013 to six months of rehabilitation, five years of probation and ordered to stay away from the actress and her representatives for 10 years.