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‘There Is No Shame in Divorcing Josh,’ Says Anna Duggar’s Cousin in Open Letter

anna duggar
A 2018 Instagram post celebrating Michelle Duggar’s birthday shows (from left to right) Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, Anna Duggar, Michelle Duggar and Amy King. Screenshot from Instagram / @amyrachelleking

Anna Duggar should feel “no shame” about divorcing her husband, Josh Duggar, says Anna’s cousin, Amy King. Federal prosecutors are seeking a 20-year prison sentence for Josh Duggar, who in December 2021 was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.

“Anna, I feel for you,” wrote Amy King on Instagram. “No woman wants to be in your shoes. You’re faced with an impossible decision and you’re being surrounded by the wrong kind of support. You’ve been taught since you were a child that marriage is forever and you prayed for God to send you a partner. You’ve constructed a life and a family with him. You didn’t choose any of this, and your kids certainly didn’t either. I’m not coming after you with some sort of tough love thing. This is what’s simply on my heart and I can’t help but to express it.”

Anna Duggar Stands by Her Man

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their children were stars of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” until 2015 when TLC canceled the show after allegations surfaced that their oldest, Josh Duggar, had molested five young girls, including four of his own sisters.

Jim Bob and Michelle told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that Josh had indeed confessed to this, and Josh’s sisters Jill (Duggar) Deckard and Jessa (Duggar) Seewald came forward as two of the girls Josh inappropriately touched. That same year, hackers exposed Josh as a user of Ashley Madison, a site for people seeking to have affairs; Josh said a pornography addiction had led him to become unfaithful to Anna.

Currently, Josh Duggar, whose lawyers have requested acquittal or a new trial, awaits sentencing. Anna Duggar, her father Michael Keller, Josh’s mother Michelle, and Josh’s brother-in-law David Waller (who is a pastor) have all written to Judge Timothy L. Brooks, asking him to consider Josh’s good character when sentencing him.

King said to Anna, “I cried as I read the letter your own father wrote in support of your husband this week. It’s no wonder you’re struggling to know what to do to protect your own kids… you’ve obviously never had an example there. That’s awful and I’m so sorry for that.”

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“But my Mom was a fierce protector and so am I,” said King. “She showed me how to stand up and speak up. If no one else in your life is saying it, I need you to understand that there is no shame in divorcing Josh.” King continues:

Someday your kids will be old enough to understand what kind of guy their father really is. You can’t protect them from the truth for forever! I’m saying all of this publicly so that when they do grow up, they will also know that they had family members shouting from the rooftops that they were worth protecting all along. Your children look up to you so much… Please be the role model they need in their life. Dillon and I are more than willing to help you. Josh has chosen how history will remember him. By staying and supporting him you’re allowing him to choose that for you, too. And I know standing up to all of this seems impossible now, but as a Mama, your instinct to protect your kids always has to be stronger than your fear.

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.