Controversy always swirls around the Duggar family, from how they dress to what they eat to how they raise their kids. And in recent years, multiple Duggars — the daughters, specifically — have cut ties with their traditionalist family and done their own thing. Namely, Joy-Anna Forsyth (née Duggar) has distanced herself from her reality TV-famous family, and fans are beginning to suspect there’s far more to her pivot than they anticipated.
Sure, Joy-Anna admits to breaking some Duggar family rules, and does stick to various others, so she’s not entirely breaking away from her upbringing. But a recent reveal has fans sympathizing with Joy-Anna for the things she apparently went through as a child, and the difficulties she’s had as an adult because of it.
Josh Duggar Was Sentenced To A Long Prison Term
Joy-Anna’s oldest brother, Josh Duggar, was sentenced to many years in prison not long ago. Amid the allegations against him—and, ultimately, the conviction—plenty of rumors swirled about the Duggar family.
Some details that are apparently fact also came out, though the family has tried their best to stay out of the spotlight.
The court case was, of course, behind closed doors, but sources who attended the proceedings reported some information that had fans feeling sadder than ever for Joy-Anna and the other Duggar kids.
Various Family Members Showed Up To Court
It’s unclear why some of Josh Duggar’s family members (and friends or acquaintances) showed up to court. Though his mom Michelle has stuck by his side, the fact that other people attended the court proceedings doesn’t seem to mean they necessarily supported Josh.
Case in point? Joy-Anna Duggar was reportedly there, and her reaction to some of the proceedings is what Redditors were abuzz about while discussing the case.
A Redditor quoted a gossip magazine that suggested Joy-Anna Forsyth “had been sitting in the galley” during court. The account claimed that “when they began to discuss Josh’s crimes against her when she was five years old,” Joy “got up and left the courtroom.”
The account continues to describe Joy as “looking upset” after returning to the courtroom.
This was shocking to Redditors who assumed the report was correct, given that the Duggar family has seemingly downplayed Josh Duggar’s previous issues, long before the current conviction.
Sources Say The Duggars Downplayed Josh’s Prior Misbehavior
It’s not surprising at this point to hear an insider say that everyone around Josh Duggar knew he was problematic. But it took time for all the allegations against Josh Duggar to fully surface.
Prior to his current conviction for possessing inappropriate images of children, Josh Duggar allegedly harmed four of his younger sisters years ago.
Former viewers and fans of the Duggars’ show gleaned details from the aftermath of a lawsuit that the four sisters filed against various officials in the state of Arkansas.
Essentially, when word of Josh Duggar’s wrongdoings against his sisters was publicized, his siblings suggested, the girls’ information was publicly shared. They were minors at the time of the improper conduct; the alleged abuse happened between 2002 and 2003.
In 2002, Joy-Anna was about five years old, and simple math had Duggar followers uncovering the identities of the harmed sisters years ago.
At this point, the suggestion that Joy-Anna was present in court and visibly upset seems believable, and quite sad.
Jim Bob And Michelle Duggar Didn’t Take Josh’s Misdeeds Seriously
By all accounts, the Duggars thought they could send Josh to a religious camp that would somehow ‘fix’ his issues. A teenage Josh Duggar (he was 14-15 when the initial assaults occurred) was ‘disciplined privately,’ but sources say it “did not work,” and that Josh’s behavior did not stop.
Redditors commended Joy for attending the trial, especially because they assume she didn’t know much about what had happened to her as a young child.
One commenter noted, “It’s interesting she is the one sister attending, considering I think she was left in the dark more than others, due to her age and the extent of her abuse compared to the older girls. She’s been lied to her whole life . Good for her for finding out the truth without giving her parents the ability to gaslight her even more.”
Another lamented, “Can you image knowing that Josh has been around your daughter, and then hearing what he did to you as a kid that you don’t quite remember? That would make me want to throw up.”
When one Redditor described Joy-Anna as “aloof,” another replied that there’s likely a reason for that behavior, making the whole situation even more sad.
They noted, “I think that is how she deals. She ignores all feelings. Just stuffs them. Remember all of the comments from the family about her being practical, not emotional, not romantic? That’s one very classic sign of abuse.”
The concerned fan summed up by saying, “It’s also really dangerous, because when there’s a crack in the facade, everything could collapse.”