TV Host Sheryl Underwood Reveals 'Duggar' Story Hits Too Close to Home

The scandal over Josh Duggar's molestation charges as a young teen have affected more than just the 19 Kids and Counting family. The Talk co-host Sheryl Underwood opened up this week on her show, sharing how Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's interview with Megyn Kelly opened old wounds of her own past sexual abuse.


The 51-year-old shared on Thursday, "I went through that [at] 3, 4, 5 years old ... I didn't sleep. I learned how to stay up as long as I could ... I may sleep at school, because nobody is going to protect me. So I had to protect myself."

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar addressed the family crisis they went through in 2002 and 2003, when their eldest son confessed on multiple occasions to "inappropriately touching" minor females, including some of his own sisters.

The ladies discussed it on Thursday's episode of the Talk, and Underwood was clearly upset by it. She said that she didn't believe that the Duggars made the correct choice in protecting Josh for as long as they did, without involving outside authorities or law enforcement.

"These parents are wrong. There's no way you can say this as parents, you're wrong. And for the years that I couldn't accept love and I couldn't accept what I was made to have -- the beauty of a great relationship with someone who loved me back because I didn't love myself." She added: "Families have to protect families and [shouldn't] rationalize violation."

More from The Stir: Duggars Reveal the Drastic 'Safeguards' Used to Keep Girls Safe After Molestation

She said it took a long time after the abuse to heal and learn to love herself. She shared, "It took me years to have to learn how to love myself because I felt that I was worthless. I felt that I was less than. I felt that I deserved this or brought it on myself because of what was coming towards me from my parents."

Even though she disagreed with how the Duggars handled the situation at the time, Underwood claimed to be glad that it's drawing public attention now. "What it really did was it helped us, the world, to see what happens to people when they're in some type of family structure when the people you're supposed to trust, to protect you, seem to be your co-conspirator in your violation -- seem to rationalize sexual assault and molestation," she said. "I thank God for my older brothers who took an action on my behalf."

When something as difficult a topic as this comes up in the news, I imagine that it's incredibly emotionally difficult for former victims to hear about. Being hurt like that as a child is something you can overcome, but it's not something that can really be forgotten.

Hopefully the Duggars' situation will spur other parents to act sooner if they're experiencing similar hardships in their families. They can still love all their children, but protecting the victims needs to be the first priority.

How did the Duggars' Fox News interview affect you?


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