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TLC Confirms '19 Kids and Counting' Sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald Will Appear in Upcoming Child Sex Abuse Documentary

( [email protected] ) Jul 21, 2015 08:35 PM EDT
Former "19 Kids and Counting" stars Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald are set to appear in a new TLC documentary about child sex abuse amid reports that their older brother, Josh Duggar, molested them and three others twelve years ago.
Jessa Seewald (L) and Jill Dillard (R) speak to Fox News host Megyn Kelly about the molestation scandal surrounding their family. YouTube

Former "19 Kids and Counting" stars Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald are set to appear in a new TLC documentary about child sex abuse amid reports that their older brother, Josh Duggar, molested them and three others twelve years ago.

The Duggar family reality show "19 Kids and Counting" was first pulled from the air in May, when Josh's sexual molestation scandal broke in the media. The show was not officially cancelled until last week, however, with TLC explaining that the "recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection."

"We spent the past month and a half in thoughtful consideration about the best way forward here," Marjorie Kaplan, who is the group president of TLC, Animal Planet and Velocity networks, said in a statement.

When announcing the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting this past week, TLC also revealed they will be airing a documentary in August that will feature Jill and Jessa, along with sexual abuse advocacy groups RAINN and Darkness to Light.

The documentary, which is reportedly in the early stages of production, seeks to "raise awareness and offer families dealing with similar issues resources."

"We realized just how huge and devastating the issue of child sexual abuse is around the U.S," a TLC source told People. "We felt there was a conversation happening because of the Duggars' situation, and we wanted to do something to move it forward."

In a statement released after the cancellation of their show was announced, the Duggars revealed that they "look forward to working with TLC" on the upcoming documentary and "hope that it is an encouragement to many."

"We know Who holds the future and are confident that He will work all things together for good," the family added.

Dillard, 24, and Seewald, 22, discussed the scandal on Fox News in June, saying they had "moved on" long before a police report on the incident resurfaced this spring.

"I think all the people in our lives, like our close friends and the people - the officials - that helped us, walked alongside the family during this time and walked us through some of our hardest days, they knew about this. It wasn't like a complete secret," Seewald told Fox News host Megyn Kelly. "People knew. They had walked us through this journey and we felt it was a done deal."

Jill Dillard also said their decision to forgive their brother started the process of rebuilding their relationships with him.

"My dad explained to us, he said, 'You know there's a difference between forgiveness and trust. That's not the same thing.' You know, you forgive someone and then you have boundaries - forgiveness with boundaries. And so trust comes later. You know, Josh destroyed that trust at the beginning, and so he had to rebuild that," Dillard said.