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'19 Kids and Counting' Josh and Anna Duggar Celebrate Son Michael's Birthday; Josh Breaks Silence on Social Media

( [email protected] ) Jun 17, 2015 12:12 AM EDT
Family of '19 Kids and Counting's Josh Duggar recently broke their silence on social media Tuesday by celebrating the birthday of their son, Michael. He turned four years old.
Josh Duggar wishes his son a happy birthday. (Photo: Josh Duggar Instagram)

Family of '19 Kids and Counting's Josh Duggar recently broke their silence on social media Tuesday by celebrating the birthday of their son, Michael. He turned four years old.  

According to Amanda Mikelberg of CBS News, 27-year-old Josh Duggar went on Instagram to wish his son a happy birthday. He posted a picture of Michael, who flashed a smile.

"Happy 4th birthday Michael James! #Big4 #HappyBirthday #Michael," Duggar wrote.

Duggar's wife of seven years, Anna, also went on Instagram to post a video of the festivities. CBS News reported that Michael was surrounded by his siblings and cousins to celebrate his birthday.

"So glad to be in Arkansas celebrating Michael's 4th birthday," Anna wrote. "We love you Mikey!"

Grandparents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar also wished their grandson a happy birthday on Facebook.

"This boy is 4 years old today! He is clever and he is kind," Jim Bob and Michelle wrote. "There was a time we could not imagine anything as amazing than being parents. Now, we are grandparents too and we absolutely love everything about it! Happy, happy birthday Michael! Grandma and Grandpa Duggar love you so much!"

According to CBS News, Duggar, who has faced an expose of sexual abuse allegations that supposedly happened when he was a teenager, has tried to keep a low profile with his family to avoid media attention. The allegations were first reported on May 18.

"After the news hit, the reality show '19 Kids and Counting' was suspended, and Josh Duggar quit his job at the Family Research Council," Mikelberg wrote. "His parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, and two of his five accusers, sisters Jill and Jessa, spoke out in his support."

Sarah Grossbart of Us Weekly observed that the police report detailed how Duggar fondled four of his sisters and a babysitter between 2002 and 2003. Despite the accusations leveled against their brother, Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard defended him in a Fox News interview.

"[He was] in puberty and a little too curious about girls," Seewald said.

According to US Weekly, Jim Bob and Michelle defended their decision to keep Josh in their Arkansas home before sending him off to a four-month "Christian treatment program" back in 2003.

"We said, 'You're not alone in a room with someone else ... and little ones don't sit on big boys' laps ... unless it's your daddy,'" 48-year-old Michelle said.

University of Massachusetts psychology professor Sharon Lamb tried to explain the rationale behind Josh's treatment. She blamed the lack of sex education within the Duggar household as one of the reasons behind the allegations.

"Sexual interest in other people and even in one's sisters is common," Lamb said. "Acting on it is not."

Lamb also told Us Weekly that it was possible that Duggar was no longer a threat to anyone 12 years after the event supposedly happened.

"Just because a 14-year-old abused a little girl doesn't mean he has an actual attraction to little girls," Lamb said, adding that in Duggar's insular community, "that might have just been who was available."

Despite the allegations surrounding Josh, both Seewald and Dillard stand by their brother, insisting that family bonds are stronger than ever.

"My dad explained to us, he said, 'You know, there's a difference between forgiveness and trust,'" Dillard said.

"We're not a TV family," Seewald said in regards to their now-suspended TLC show. "We're a family that just happened to be on TV. Life goes on."


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