Josh Duggar scandal whistleblower comes forward: ‘I’m not at all sorry that I did it’

Josh Duggar scandal headlines

It has been almost two years since it was revealed that 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar had allegedly molested five girls when he was a teenager, four of which were his sisters. The story dominated headlines for months and quickly led to TLC canceling the series as well as Josh resigning from his job with the Family Research Council.

InTouch broke the story and published the police incident report from the investigation in May of 2015. In a Washington Post article about the tabloid’s coverage of the scandal, InTouch editorial director David Perel explained how the story came together. “This all comes from good, basic journalism,” he said. “It comes from being there. It’s knowing where to attack and where to start digging.”

From The Washington Post:

The Duggar story came together quickly over a three-week period, said Perel, a veteran tabloid editor who joined the publication in late 2013 after guiding both the National Enquirer and Radar Online. He won’t name the magazine’s sources, but a woman named Tandra Barnfield apparently was a helpful guide.

Now a woman claiming to be the original source for InTouch is coming forward, motivated by the recent 20/20 documentary on gay conversion therapy. “I’m going confess/admit to y’all something that I did a couple of years ago that not very many people know was me,” Sherri Townsend wrote on Facebook. “I told a reporter from In Touch magazine about Josh Duggar’s molestation/ pedophilia of his sisters and others, which broke the story and ultimately caused his resignation as the head of the Family Research Council and got his family’s hypocrisy filled show cancelled. Yep, that was me and I’m not at all sorry that I did it.”

Sherri then explains why she decided to come forward after all this time:

However, sitting here sick to my stomach from watching last night’s 20/20 expose on conversion therapy camps, I can see that hateful religious bigotry is still alive and well and that the dangerous hate group, the Family Research Council, has doubled down on promoting their brand of bigotry causing terrible harm to countless people. THEY NEED TO BE BROUGHT DOWN. That group is true evil!!! Bringing them down will now be added to my list of causes!!!

InTouch Josh Duggar scandal cover

Sherri’s post was shared on the “Duggar Family News: Life is not all pickles and hairspray” Facebook page, and numerous people asked in the comments section how Sherri knew about Josh and the police investigation. “She lives in Springdale and she said it was pretty common knowledge in that area,” explained the page admin. “She told InTouch, for no money, after Michelle’s gay hating robocalls and InTouch found the court documents.” (InTouch editorial director Perel also said that their sources were not paid, although he acknowledges that InTouch does pay for some stories.)

Sherri’s claims also line up with the InTouch source mentioned in The Washington Post article:

Barnfield was contacted by an InTouch reporter, Melissa Roberto, earlier this year after Barnfield posted a photo on Instagram of her kissing her wife, Samantha Muzny, in front of the Duggars’ home near Springdale, Ark. The photo — a protest, Barnfield said, of Michelle Duggar’s role in promoting opposition to an anti-discrimination initiative last year — had gone viral.

During their conversation, Barnfield, who lives in the Houston area but has family in Springdale, told Roberto about the police report. “It wasn’t like it was a rumor to us,” Barnfield said in an interview. “We knew all about it. . . . It wasn’t hard to get it. You just had to know where to look.”

You may recall that the original police investigation was thanks to another tipster who informed Harpo Productions about Josh after the Duggar family filmed a segment with Oprah Winfrey. From our previous post:

According to the police report obtained by InTouch, the initial accusations about Josh came to light in 2006, shortly after the family filmed an Oprah segment, which never aired. Someone from Harpo Productions was tipped off by an anonymous person who claimed Jim Bob Duggar had been hiding the secret for years. Harpo forwarded the anonymous email to authorities, who launched an investigation.

Despite the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggar family is back on TLC in the spin-off series Counting On, which has yet to feature Josh.

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  • Jessica

    It’s no secret that their cult is sickening. All you have to do is research the Gothard Religion and everything is right there in front of you. They are sick. Those kids are sadly brainwashed. If only one of them could escape and make it easier for the rest to follow!

    • nssherlock

      The most sickening aspect is that TLC still puts them out as normal “Christians”.
      They are a sick, perverted fundamentalist CULT whose sole aim is to breed white Christian soldiers for Gothards “army”.

      The cult is rife with pedophilia, child and spouse abuse.

      None of the kids are educated or allowed to go to school, they are indoctrinated from blanket training on in Gothard’s demented IBLP doctrines, beaten into “keeping sweet”, permitted no independent thought and married off asap to breed more cult arrows.

      Not one of them has a real job or education – a bigger waste of life could not be imagined — and THIS is what TLC pimps out, paying JimBob so he support the whole horde of Duggarlings, their spouses and endless baby making.

      Masticate, defecate, procreate — like roaches with no higher brain power, complete parasites on society.

      • STacy

        This. This. This. This. This.

      • Nunya Nunya

        Better people than you and your family are that’s for sure… Trash

        • nssherlock

          My family and I are not in a cult — that makes us better to begin with, nor do we pimp out our kids on t.v. after denying them any education or profession so they can support themselves.

          You have nothing better to say than name calling perfect strangers about whom you know nothing — how very Christian of you.

        • ChelseaHouskasEyebrows

          You must be a Duggar leg humper.

        • Bajovane

          Yep – a Duggar leghumper for sure.

          No, they are not “better people” than anyone else, including yourself. Open your damn eyes.

        • Aussie cathie

          Nothing like a Grubber Dugger footwasher defending a evil pair such as pimpbob and his hand maiden … Two of the most dispicable wastes of life sacrificing their daughters to protect a sicko son!! Shame on you!!!

        • LaraCroftEyes1

          Wrong there Buttercup
          Duggars are child abuser and let their son Josh sexually abused his little sisters for four years

    • Brie Mode

      I’ve also read that they prescribe to that John and Debbie Pearl’s “To Raise Up A Child” where they advocate beating the kids with like pvc pipes and stuff.

      • Nunya Nunya

        What a smart educated person you are to believe everything you read..

        • Brie Mode

          Sherlock said they’ve had the book showing in early episodes, so there you go.

          I didn’t say I totally believed it. How smart and educated you are to assume things.

          • Susan Lakota-Sue Fox

            Michelle said in a forum years ago (it has been deleted since) when her twin boys were toddlers, someone introduced her to blanket training and it was the best thing she ever did….she also was telling other moms where to get flexable rulers to beat a baby starting at 6months old…it also condones giving a child a cold shower as punishment…Jilly muffin admitted to giving Izzy a cold shower after he burned himself and was sick with a fever and eye infection

            • Brie Mode

              I just read about the forum thing!

              It’s also being speculated that she’s been using blanket training as well.

              ON THE OTHER HAND


        • Bajovane

          You are a fine one to talk. You actually believe they’re good people! LMAO! Pathetic!

      • nssherlock

        They had the Pearl’s book showing in the early segments, took it away after people started to tell us that it advocates extreme child beating, starting with blanket training at about 5 months.

        This is a sick, sick CULT, and this nunya sounds like a Duggarling or cult member who will post drivel to try to refute any facts.

    • Marie Simpson

      Does it seem maybe that Jinger has escaped the clan? She has also been seen wearing shorts. Let’s help she is free.

    • barbinop

      Jinger escaped and looks very happy with her husband. She had to leave the state to get away from the brainwashing. Smart chick

      • Brie Mode

        Jinger has the best looking husband out of all the married girls.

        I do think Joy-Anna and Austin are a cute couple, too though. If you’ve ever seen that episode of HIMYM when they talk about “The Cheerleader Effect” – yanno, the girls all look good when they’re together, but individually they’re ugly?

        That’s how I see Aisfij and Jou-Anna lol

        • Ugh.

          Joy-Anna and Austin may be cute, but his family is as much part of the cult as hers is. If you ask me, they seem even worse. So it will be out of the frying pan and into the fire for Joy-Anna, and the poor girl isn’t even out of her teens yet!

  • Kym Hall

    Why keep bring this up.let the victims heal. It sad this person and intouch did not think about the victims and,how there names were,outed by this info and paperwork easily found out by reading saying that the victims lived in the home and who the parents,were. All that both intouch and this,woman could have with held when printing but they anc police did not. All in the name of vengeance revenge. This,woman is no better than she says the Duggars. How hateful and dicrinating this woman is and intouch to and this article for not letting people the victims move on.
    Shameful just shameful.

  • Summer

    TLC get these sick familes off TV!!!!!
    Fake Christians! They give them a bad name!! Josh should not be on TV anymore or his baby baring UNEDUCATED sisters. ENOUGH!

    • Nunya Nunya

      Why tf are you still following them and reading stories, THEN posting about them lmfao idiot

  • Nunya Nunya

    If they are not ashamed and coming forward, have some guts and show your face and name… Other than that they are are gutless piece of crap….

    • Bajovane

      So sayth someone who calls themselves nunya nunya!

      • Tandra

        🙂 Ty

    • Tandra

      Hi my name is Tandra, nice to meet you and if you ever want real facts feel free to message me. I’m actually a pretty lovely person, I may suprise you!

  • Bajovane

    Duggar fans are just like Trump supporters – no matter what the truth is, they don’t want to hear it. The Duggars are Godly people!! They are being persecuted!!! Leave them alooooooonnnneee!!!!

    Screw that. The sooner they get taken off the air for good, the better. They are a cult – they are NOT “good Christian people” at all!

  • jennifer

    Has any Digger actually said ” I hate gays!” nope! They don’t believe in the lifestyle. Everyone attending pro gay rallies, do they hate straight people? Nope. Everyone has the right to their opinion. You voice yors, others do too. No one will ever 100% agree. Big deal. Don’t let it polarize you.

    • DoogieHowser

      Trying to change laws to give them less human rights as themselves is a form of hate. Just because they are articulating the hate in clear as day speech doesn’t mean they are not expressing it in other ways. In fact, they are expressing their views by supporting politicians and trying to influence laws and voting that lower the protection and rights of the lgbt community and women as a whole. They may not phrase it openly but their actions say they do. If they could snap their fingers and strip rights from everyone that isn’t like them, they would.

  • AmandaRoddy

    I think these people need to be off tv myself. What they believe is deplorable, but it seems the kissing lesbian couple was as much about attention as they are.
    It would be like eating a burger in front of a vegetarian’s house and snapping a pic. This is polarizing politics.

  • Kym Hall

    Why keep bring this up.let the victims heal. It sad this person and intouch did not think about the victims and,how there names were,outed by this info and paperwork easily found out by reading saying that the victims lived in the home and who the parents,were. All that both intouch and this,woman could have with held when printing but they and police did not. All in the name of vengeance revenge. I do not condone Josh one bit what he did was wrong and there are consquence to actions but outing the victims giving them no choice but to come forward when that info on paperwork could have been blanked out by this person intouch amd police. This,woman is no better than she says the Duggars. How hateful and discriminating this woman is and intouch to and this article for not letting people the victims move on.
    Shameful just shameful.

    • nssherlock

      The blame rests solely on JimBob and Michelle for raising Josh with such ghastly repression of every normal teenage sex urge while humping non-stop to the full knowledge of their children – the girls even kept an ovulation chart posted for their mother.

      The home was sexually charged constantly with JimBob pawing and humping Michelle to the full knowledge of their children.

      When Josh first molested his sisters, one of whom was 5 years old, the parents hid it and locked the girls up. Only reason it became public is because of this whistleblower.

      Who knows what else has gone on in this cult home.

      The victims were then forced to “forgive” their molester, Josh. This is how the Gothardite cult works – so save your “pity” and see who is totally to blame for the said victims — their sick, perverted, lying, hypocritical non-parenting parents who pimp them all out for money.

      • Kym Hall

        Why did the whistle blower and intouch out the victims they were all children not adults when happend. Why not just out Josh and Jim bob and Michelle. The children were innocent victims at the time two were still when the whistle blower did this and deserved not to have their names outed like this Duggar or not. As an adult fine make the choice to come forward then or not but the whistleblower and intouch did not give his victims a choice to heal. That not right and makes this woman no better than you say the Duggars are. It not pity but what have been done to protect the innocent children his victums at the time and heal. Josh has and had to face any consquences of this coming out to do his patents. I do not condone what he did at all. I do not condone the whistleblower either this woman has no morals and has her own mental issues of vengance .

        • nssherlock

          You have no clue what really happened – it was common knowledge in their town that Josh was an incestuous pedophile, yet the cult elders helped JimBob cover it up.

          The police report clearly showed the names and ages of the victims. That would have been hidden permanently if JimBob hadn’t gone out of his way to get Josh back into the home.

          You are either a Duggar leghumper or just plain ignorant. The parents actually went on t.v. then had the girls talk about how they “forgave” Josh because he was just “a little too curious”.
          Doesn’t get much more perverted than this cult hive.

          • Kym Hall

            I do not know the Duggars personally and was brought up Catholic and not a fundie. I keep saying i do not condone what Josh did and feel yes his parents probably did not handle the situation correctly. Outing the victims for the whole world to see like this whistle blower and intouch and local police did is just as wrong . Yes the locals and local police knew about issues but that does not mean that the victims all children at time and names to be outed for the whole world to read and see nomatter who they are. All info that pertained to the victims could have been taken away blanked out not reported by thewhistle blower intouch and local police easily done. That mostly forced Jill and Jessa to come forward yes encouraged by their parents to help their brother. I do not condone that either but their adults and names were publized in this manner as victims when they were children. Joy Anna and Jessa were still underage when this all came out by the whitleblower and intouch and there names were out there as a,victims and was confirmed. It common practice not to out the victims no matter who they are especially under age.

            All this happened when these woman were undera ge they have a right to heal not have there names printed about something that happened to a child or when they were a child like intouch and this whistle blower did . That is just as wrong fine out Josh as he did these things and thats a consquence for his actions but his victims deserve privacy and to not be outed like this unless their choice in this case they had no choice as even i easily had fugured out all four names of the victims after reading the report as all info to get victims names was in there and not reactedor blanked as should have been and could have been.

            • nssherlock

              You twist and turn

              • Kym Hall

                No i do not i honest and sticking up for the victims and their rights. It was wrong to do and could have been taken care of easily by news whistle blower or police.

                • nssherlock

                  You’re a major leghumper and/or Duggarling.

                  The actual police report — with names, dates, ages, etc. is CLEARLY public record and can be seen on websites – freejingerdotcom being one of them.

                  Useless to tell you facts, you are completely lamebrained.

                  • Kym Hall

                    My point exactly with the fact that all victims,info was easily found out and address saying lived in home with Josh and Jim Bob and relative. All that info should have reacted in paperwork by any number of sources first being police then whistleblower second intouch which were free Jinger and online spurces got info then protecting the Under age victims.

                    • nssherlock

                      Only blame for not protecting the underage victims lies with the PARENTS, JimBob and Michelle Duggar.

                    • Kym Hall

                      As far as the identy of underage victims no not totally as the police and whitleblower and intouch had a,responsiblity when posting info.

                      I agree Jim Bob and Michelle should have done more to protect the family and victims as things were happening and did not. Again no one can say what they would actually do as a parent if this happend within family till it does.

                      That does not leave the the police whistle blower and intouch blamless for outing the victims years later nationally.

    • ksharp7

      Had the parents or their church properly called police he would have made his way through the criminal justice system and then the information would have been sealed along with the consequences to Josh. The names of the victims were crossed out. There was no way to figure out other than guess who the victims were. Jessa and Jill came forward and outed themselves. They didn’t have to. Having your kids Locked in their rooms on the second level at night isn’t amazing it’s a fire hazard. How do you get in to get the kids out? They kept him there even after he turned 18 to live with his victims. They still have not figured out how to live with this. You can’t move on when the solution to family sex abuse is no frontal hugs, covering up the girls more, home churching instead of a brick and mortar church full of mandated reporters and not letting brothers hold baby siblings. Everything we saw was a lack of boundaries by the parents to control the kids lives. Sitting in on two twenty something’s phone call, sitting on top of them in the backseat for modesty sakes when there isn’t room for three. Parents being the premarriage councellors to their daughters who were victims of incest while they did nothing meant to mentor and teach them about relationships and what comes after the ceremony? The Amish have more privacy and are given more respect to adult children. They were teacher, pastor, land lord, employer, councellor, police, judge, social worker, midwife, matchmaker. On their heads be it. And they threw the family under the bus of money again by that interview they made the girls do and public shaming of josh while remaining on the show themselves. JB and M are worse than Josh. Least he was a kid and begged them three times to stop him and admitted he was the bad guy. The parents are not sorry and they would not do things differently. And they continue to make money profiting off family systems that were not about God but how to isolate and enable the abuse of children.

      • Kym Hall

        Actually read the paperwork and look at timeline i did. The names may have been reacted but not the parents or their address or fact Josh was the relative and lived in house of victims of victim or ages and who lived in house and ages at time. I had all four of his sisters as others online as the victims way before Jill and Jessa even went on TV or said anything. You really do not know everything about this. Also if police did not react this info which outed the victims why not the whistle blower when got it as she so pro not being a victim of abuse but only for people like her and not victims of this type of abuse.why not them intouch do the same. These victims were children at time two were still when these articles were written. that so hypocritical if all of them. It ok to out Josh’s victims just because they were Duggars.children are innocent and need protection from the press like this even if parents did not do it so much.

      • Kym Hall

        I have no problem with Josh being outed he did this . That is a consquence of doing what he did.

        • nssherlock

          There was no consequence – none at all, the cult and the Duggars covered it up and Josh was never held accountable.
          He was finally — after 2 years of molesting his younger sisters — sent to some other Gothardite family for work detail and cover up.

          They sent him to pray away camp after his SECOND sex perversion with the hooker at the cheat site.

          For some obscure reason, adultery was considered worse than pedophilia and incest
          by these perverts.

          • Kym Hall

            As mentioned no offical charges were placed by police so blame them for no follow up on that. Yes i agree the parents took a road that did not help Josh totally. There in posibly making family issues worse but that is a private family issue to be dicussed with in family. others can not say what i or they would do as a parent as not in situation and never have been. You can conjucture all you want.

            • nssherlock

              Are you drunk or just marginally literate??

              JimBob went to a cop he knew who was later put in prison for pedophilia. That cop never acted on Josh’s crime, just gave him a “stern talking to”, that’s downright hysterical in view of the cops own pedophilia.

              Your “private family issue” parrots the Gothard “rules” perfectly.

              You have become tedious, rambling and just plain Gothardite. Your obvious attempts to put blame on anything and everything rather than the Duggars and their cult is obvious to anyone with a brain and I am done with you.

              • Kym Hall

                I never said the Duggar parents were not to blame. I clearly put blame on them.They should have done more yes. The police officer could have to but did not do his full job either friend or no friend of of Duggars . I am not parroting gothard i do not agree with him or teaching but do realize each family handles things differently as each family has a,right to do whether i or others agree with it or not which i do not agree with the Duggar parrnts in how they handled the situation. You are assuming and that is wrong.

  • Ugh.

    I wish TLC would get these sickos off the air! It isn’t right for them to profit for spreading their false religion. I used to have fun watching their show for a laugh, but no more. I don’t even watch other shows on TLC. I’m not going to give their advertisers my eyeballs!