After 10 seasons, the plug had been pulled on 19 Kids & Counting, but Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are desperate to get back on the air—even if it means throwing their son Josh, who needs them more than ever now, under the bus.
“They are in panic mode and will say or do anything to get the show back,” a source said. “They’ll throw Josh under the bus, if that’s what it takes.”
TLC cancelled their reality show on July 16 in the wake of Josh admitted to molesting five young women in 2002 and 2003, but the insider said Jim Bob and Michelle “are in total shock” because they “honestly thought all of this would blow over after a while.”
While they have tried to do damage control—from the Fox News interview defending Josh to participating in the just announced TLC show about fighting child sexual abuse—the source said they are still in denial about the enormity of the scandal that has rocked their world.
“They believe they’re being unfairly punished,” a source said. “They feel Josh has overcome his problems and that it’s not a big deal now.”
Something that is a big deal, though, for the family is their lack of income since the show has been cancelled. Insiders say the uber Christian Jim Bob and Michelle are ready to do anything to fix their public image, even if it means moving on without one of their kids. And it’s already begun! The family omitted Josh from a photo to celebrate cousin Amy Duggar’s engagement, which is just part one of their plan to begin “staying away from Josh and everything he represents.”
“If they have to choose between money and Josh, Josh doesn’t stand a chance,” a source said. “The show was their biggest moneymaker, and they loved being in the limelight. This has been a huge blow to their wallets and their egos.”
According to the insider, it’s not just Jim Bob and Michelle who are fame hungry, but the rest of the family who saw opportunities to have their own spinoff shows—until Josh ruined it for them all. “The whole clan is furious,” the source said. “They’re holding Josh responsible for the destruction of their very lucrative brand.”
So how will they undo the damage and make their fans love them again? For more on the story, pick up the latest issue of OK! magazine, on stands now!