“It is often much easier to think about things than it is to talk about them, and so this disclosure has been delayed, but through that delay I have found the fortitude and words,” he began in a candid Instagram post on Tuesday, December 15. “As a child, after what I realize now was a long grooming process, I was molested by an executive field producer for Little People, Big World, Chris Cardamone."
The reality star continued, “I do not expect to provide details of this encounter at any point publicly. I do hope that he is never allowed around children again.”
Roloff admitted he had been thinking about writing this statement “when the producer texted me years later in November 2015.” However, the TLC star chose to “disclose it now as it remains a traumatic memory that needs to be exorcised of any further power over my development.”
“By revealing this, I may be more fully understood and my perspective on issues such as child sexual abuse, child exploitation and the collateral costs of reality television may be received more clearly,” he wrote. “Although, I would have to add that this experience has not solely defined my point of view on any of these issues, nor has it defined my worldview in general.”
Roloff reminded his followers that sexual assault “can happen to anyone at any time and is a far more prevalent reality than our current social stigma allows us to talk about.”
As for why Roloff kept quiet all these years, he “needed silence and time” to process what had happened to him.
“I continue my own contemplation on the voyeurism involved in the entire enterprise of reality television — a massive spectacle of drama and pain and argument and invasion, with a little joy sprinkled over, that viewers watch completely disassociated from the complex humans inside the simplistic ‘characters’ they see on TV,” he said. “Yet, there is no inherent casual connection between reality television production and childhood trauma. We are still sprinting ahead with the enterprise deaf, dumb and blind, asking for forgiveness later, instead of asking harder preliminary questions of ourselves.”
Roloff noted that shooting a reality series isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. “So much of reality television is simply, ‘a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,’” he said. “It must finally be emphasized that all fault lies with the predator, and no fault lies with any of my family members. I am certain that this is a positive moment for me, and another step toward a brighter future. In solidarity with silent survivors, Jacob Roloff.”
Roloff — whose parents are Matt Roloff and Amy Roloff — and his family gained popularity when their show premiered in 2006. Jacob has appeared on more than 200 episodes over the years — which is in its 21st season — but exited the show in 2016.
“TLC was just informed about an alleged encounter that occurred years ago involving a third party connected to the production of Little People, Big World. We are saddened and troubled by this very serious allegation, and TLC will work cooperatively with the authorities. Our main focus remains on supporting the Roloff family during this very difficult time,” the network said in a statement to Us Weekly about the allegations.
Jacob’s wife, Isabel Rock, showed support for her man on social media. “Proud to know you, proud to love you, proud to be your wife,” she wrote, while Jacob’s mom, Amy, also penned a sweet note. She wrote, “I love you forever and always, Jacob. I’m proud of you. Now you don’t have to feel alone and carry this around anymore.”