Exclusive: Duggar sisters want to 'set the record straight'

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," June 5, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Tonight a "Kelly File" exclusive. For the very first time, two of the young women inappropriately touched by reality TV star Josh Duggar speak out about what happened.

Welcome to "The Kelly File" everyone, I'm Megyn Kelly. Jill and Jessa Duggar are two of the 19 kids belonging to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. The reality TV show and TLC has been a hit for nine seasons. And tonight they reveal themselves as victims of their brother Josh's inappropriate touching, saying they want to set the record straight about what really went on from 12 years ago under their parents' roof and what did not. Jill and Jessa Duggar will speak in moments but we begin with what has proven to be an intense few days for the entire Duggar family.


KELLY (voice-over): An explosive interview.

JIM BOB DUGGAR, "19 KIDS AND COUNTING": We went through one of the most darkest times our family has ever gone through. And our son Josh came to us on his own and he was crying and he had just turned 14 and he said that he had actually improperly touched some of our daughters and it was --

MICHELLE DUGGAR, "19 KIDS AND COUNTING": We were shocked. We were just devastated.

KELLY: Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar sitting down with THE KELLY FILE for an exclusive interview after "In Touch" weekly reveals a dark family secret. Their oldest son Josh inappropriately touched five girls when he was a young teen-ager, four of whom are the Duggars' daughters. How did they find out? What did they do? And why would they launch a reality show knowing of their family's history?

(on camera): How did you first learn that there was a problem with Josh?

M. DUGGAR: He was the one that came and shared on his own. I think as parents we felt we're failures. You know, here we tried to raise our kids to do what's right, to know what's right.

KELLY: Some people have said why did they wait? Why didn't they go to the authorities or go for the counseling at the very first time he came to you?

J. B. DUGGAR: You know, I talked to somebody that worked at one of those juvenile youth sex offender facilities. The success rate is not very good. It's a situation where we felt like our son's heart had gone astray.

KELLY: What would make you launch a reality TV show about your family given this past?

J. B. DUGGAR: We had nothing to hide. We had taken care of all that years before.

KELLY (voice-over): The media reaction to our exchange was swift and strong.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A lot of times people do an interview in a situation like this to lay the issue to rest. And I think in this case this interview may have even raised more questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The father of three little girls, this was a brutal hour of television to watch.



You can't do that and talk about God forgiving people when you don't have forgiveness in your own heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The problem started when you start celebrating people surely because they pumped out 19 kids.

KELLY: But there is another part of this story, the story you haven't heard until tonight. After we interviewed Jim Bob and Michelle, two of their daughters sat down with us to reveal that they were among Josh's victims. This revelation coming at a time that had been the happiest of their lives. Jill Duggar Dillard, a new mom, who just gave birth to her first born in April. Just 24-years-old her wedding to Derek was televised in a wildly popular episode of the family's TV series.


KELLY: And then there's Jessa Duggar Seewald, 22-years-old and a newly weed herself. Expecting her first child with husband Ben. Their November wedding also televised was a huge ratings success. Two women who as girls were the subjects of unwanted touching. And who today are the subjects of a media circus. Tonight, they break their silence about their secret and their heartache.

(on camera): So, Jessa and Jill, thank you both so much for being here. Let me start with you. You're 22, Jessa.


KELLY: And how old are you Jill?

DILLARD: Twenty four.

KELLY: So this happened a long time ago. How old were you -- and let me start with you, Jill. How old were you when Josh inappropriately touched you?

DILLARD: I was 12.

KELLY: Twelve. And how about you?

SEEWALD: I guess I was nine or 10.

KELLY: Okay. And you are going on the record as being two of Josh's victims.


KELLY: Is it feels strange to you that word?

DILLARD: You know, I think we didn't choose to come out and tell our story. This wouldn't have been our first choice. But now that the story has been brought about, we really feel like as we've been seeing these headlines, as we've been seeing things that people are saying about our family, we feel like as victims we have to come out and speak. This is something like we chose to do. Nobody asked us to do this. Jessa and I were talking and we were like, oh, my goodness, most of the stuff out there is lies, it's not true. And so for truth sake, we want to come out and set the record straight.

KELLY: Sitting here today, when I said, you know, "victims," you furrowed your brow a little bit. Do you feel like the victim of a molestation?

SEEWALD: Well, I think in the case of what Josh did, it was very wrong. I'm not going to justify anything he did or say it was okay. Not permissible. But I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist some people are saying. That is so overboard and a lie really. I mean, people will get mad at me for saying that but I'm like I can say this. You know? I was one of the victims, so I can speak out and I can say this and set the record straight here. Like in Josh's case he was a boy, young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls and that got him into some trouble. And he made some bad choices but really the extent of it was mild inappropriate touching on fully clothed victims. Most of it while girls were sleeping.

DILLARD: We didn't even know about it until he went and confessed it to my parents and they shared it with us.

KELLY: Neither of you knew?

SEEWALD: None of the victims were aware of what happened until Joshua confessed.

DILLARD: It wasn't like we were keeping secret afraid or something. It was we didn't know until Josh explained to my parents what his thought process was, what everything was.

KELLY: How did you learn about it? I mean, did your parents sit you down in a meeting or what happened?

SEEWALD: My parents took us aside individually and they said here's what's happened. At that point of course you're like, oh, you're shocked. You know?

KELLY: So, your parents were the ones to tell you, you were molested or --


KELLY: And you, too?


KELLY: At the same time or separately?

DILLARD: No, individually.

KELLY: Let me start with you. What was your reaction to that?

SEEWALD: Well, I was like shocked and kind of like, okay, this is strange.

KELLY: You had no memory of it?

SEEWALD: I didn't know. I didn't understand, okay, this is what's happened until my parents told me. And so I think at that point it was just kind of like, it's like, you never think like this will happen to me or something.

DILLARD: Yes. And in our case, you know, it's very mild compared to what happened to some.

SEEWALD: I know so many girls --

DILLARD: So, for me, even when my parents came and sat down and told me this, I was like, really? You know, I'm sad, I'm shocked at the same time. Like Jessa was saying, I'm shocked. You know, I'm like, okay, like, and I'm sad because this is my older brother who I love a lot. And so it's like, you know, they're conflicting there.

KELLY: Did you feel angry?

SEEWALD: I did. You know, I was angry at first. I was like how could this happen? And then, you know, my parents explained to us what happened and then Josh came and asked each of us individually I know, but he asked me to forgive him. And I had to make that choice to forgive him, you know. And it wasn't something that somebody forced. You know, it was like you have to make that decision for yourself.

KELLY: So let's go back in time. So, we're ahead of ourselves little bit. You're 12, you're 10 around there and your parents sit you down individually and tell you that this happened. Do you remember whether that was 2002 or 2003?


So, you had the family meeting. Did Josh go away right after that?

SEEWALD: He did pretty soon. At the time I was young so it kind of seems like everything was a whirlwind or whatever.

KELLY: Was there time that you were in house with Josh knowing this prior to him going away?

SEEWALD: Not really. I think that whenever it was brought to my attention. It wasn't very long after that Josh went away that I knew.

KELLY: Do you remember the dynamic of being in the house thinking --

DILLARD: We were sad.

KELLY: Here's my brother, I know this information now, what am I supposed to do with this?

DILLARD: We were sad whenever he was sent away, you know, because he's your brother, he's like, you're all still kids, you know? But at the same time it was burned in our memory Josh made some very bad decisions and he's going to suffer the consequences of those decisions.

KELLY: Did you get the chance to -- maybe you weren't feeling -- you said you were feeling angry but do you get the chance to express that anger to him? Did you fight?

SEEWALD: No. I think for us our situation is so different than most girls in that he was -- he's very subtle anyway. Like he knew in his mind my actions are wrong and I have bad intentions but he was very sly like the girls didn't catch on, you know. It was like, okay, if you catch the girl sleeping, you know, like a quick feel or whatever. Or it's like, you know, if you're just not really aware, you know, in the situation that happened when the girls were awake, it's like they weren't aware what was happening. It was very subtle. And so I think that for us it's like, okay, we realize this is serious but at the same time it wasn't like a horror story or like this terrible thing or like, oh my goodness, we were like --


KELLY: That's one of the headline covers, "House of Horrors."

SEEWALD: Ridiculous.

KELLY: That is not how you view it?

SEEWALD: No. And I think my parents, they acted, I can see looking back as an adult, now they handled the situation very well. They set up safety guards in our house. And, you know, they sent Josh away. They got to get help. When he came back, he was a totally different person like totally different.

KELLY: How did that manifest that? How could you see that?

SEEWALD: I mean, you just tell. I mean, he was repentant whenever he'd left. And he was very like apologizing, when he came back, he was just like, okay, I can see, he had made some life changes here during his time and he's never going to go down that path.

KELLY: Did you feel scared at all that he might resume?

DILLARD: You know, when this happened, when my dad and mom sat down with us and shared what happened and Josh asked us to forgive him, we had to make that choice that I think everyone has to make and my dad explained to us, he said you know there's a difference between forgiveness and trust. That's not the same thing. You know, you forgive someone and then you have boundaries. Forgiveness with boundaries and so trust comes later. You know, Josh destroyed that trust at the beginning, and so he had to rebuild that. And so I think when he came back, that was his -- that was his point of, okay -- well, actually, when he asked us to forgive him, that was the point of rebuilding.

KELLY: That was the beginning. What were the safeguards that were put into place just to make sure?

SEEWALD: Well, like not --

DILLARD: I was going to say not, you know, being alone. My parents said, okay, we're not going to do this hide and seek thing where two people go off and hide together and not baby-sitting the girls.

KELLY: At night in your room?

DILLARD: Locks on the doors, you know, everybody's in bed, girls in the girls' room, boys in the boys' room. And so, yes. And as a mother now, I look back and I think, you know, my parents did such an amazing job. For me, even when we went through the DHS investigation, they complimented my parents on what an amazing job they did through that process. And so, I think not only taking the legal actions that they did and then going the extra mile and I see as a mom I hope that I can set the same safeguards in my family that they did and, you know, reaching the heart of their children. And not only trying to take care of Josh but us girls.

KELLY: Do you -- for the record, did you ever have any trouble with any other family members?



KELLY: This is just about Josh. And just about the period prior to counseling.

SEEWALD: My parents did talk with us, you know, when all this came up. They sat down with all of us kids, every age, sat down and they said, if anyone ever touches you inappropriately, come and tell mom and dad, you know. You have a voice --

KELLY: Did you start to think of yourself after they told you as a victim -- I mean, is there a moment where the light goes off that, wow, I am the victim of molestation?

SEEWALD: I don't believe so.

DILLARD: Well, I think in our situation, like I said, like we weren't aware that that was going on.

KELLY: Because, you know, when you talk to child molestation victims, they often talk about feeling shame, things like that. Did you go through any of that given the circumstances here?

SEEWALD: I think definitely like when we were doing the DHS investigation and they're asking you to tell your story -- I mean, it's one thing to talk to mom and dad and say, wow, okay, this happened, you know, but it's another thing when a complete stranger is like, tell me your story here.

DILLARD: And our parents told us, they said, you know, we all went down there, they took us down there and they said, we're going to share what happened here. And our parents told us, you know, be completely open and honest --

SEEWALD: They're here to help you, you know.

KELLY: And you met with the investigators and you told them your story.

SEEWALD: We did. We told them, we were honest, here's what happened, we told them the complete story. And my parents said, this is not something that people are going to blab around, you know, this is something you can tell them, you can trust them, tell them your story. Just like you talk to mom and dad, you know, it's a safe place to talk. And so --

KELLY: And yet --

SEEWALD: Unfortunately not.


KELLY: Up next, Jill and Jessa discuss what happened when they were questioned by the authorities. Plus, the moment that brought Jill to tears.


DILLARD: We were pretty serious.

SEEWALD: We were not happy.

DILLARD: I called my husband and I was in tears. I couldn't believe what was going on.



KELLY: In 2006 an investigation was launched in Josh Duggar's actions. Family members, including the girls, were questioned by the authorities. And the girls were assured that their statements would remain private. That's where we pick up with Jill and Jessa.


SEEWALD: We told them the complete story. And my parents said, you know what, this is not something that people are going to blab around. You know, this is something you can tell them, you can trust them, tell them your story, just like you talk to mom and dad, you know, it's a safe place to talk. And so --

KELLY: And yet --

SEEWALD: Unfortunately not.

KELLY: Any hesitation when you decided to put your family on TV that this would come out?

SEEWALD: No. I think whenever we started the TV show, you know, the reality show was five years or something after all of this. We had dealt with it. As a family, we had moved on.

KELLY: So, you weren't laboring under a fear that we're targets now?


KELLY: We're on TV, we're outspoken --

SEEWALD: And I think all the people in our lives, our close friends, and that the people, the officials that helped us, walked alongside our family during this time and walked through some of our darkest days, they knew about this, it wasn't like it was a complete secret and it was just our family like, people knew they had walked us through this journey. And we felt like, it's a done deal, you know?

DILLARD: You know, it's like the people during that time knew what was going on.

SEEWALD: Yes. But I feel like there was any need to share private information with people who weren't a part of the problem or the solution.

KELLY: Uh-mm.

DILLARD: You know, we had dealt with that when investigation with our family was closed after all those months, they said your parents have done an amazing job. They were praising our parents and said, your home is a safe place for children.

KELLY: What about, you know, some of the family's critics would argue why you put your neck out there because not only did you go on TV but you advocated strong Christian values. And now critics are saying you've essentially waved your right to do that, not you the victims necessarily but the family shouldn't have been out there doing that since they knew what had happened. Is that fair?

DILLARD: Well, I think that, you know, some people, I've heard them saying, you know, you're hypocrites. Well, if you go back and look at everything that people have seen in our lives, in television, you know, we've never claimed to be a perfect family. My parents have always actually stated, you know, we are not a perfect family. We are just a family --

SEEWALD: With challenges just like everybody else.

DILLARD: With lots of kids that has 20 times more, you know, people in our family, so.

KELLY: How about Josh? How about Josh though? He's been out there, you know, with the Family Research Council, talking about family values and suggesting that certain lifestyles are not appropriate, in particularly the gay and lesbian lifestyles.

SEEWALD: Right. I mean, it's right to say, here's what I believe, here's my value. Even if you've made stupid mistakes or failures if you've had failures in your past, it doesn't mean you can't be changed. And I think that's where -- I think the real issue is people are making this sound like it happened yesterday and that it happened yesterday.

DILLARD: And it was ongoing, you know --

KELLY: And that it was very, very severe.

SEEWALD: It happened 12 years ago, you know, when he was a child himself. And so, I think seeing the change in his life, like we witnessed it, we know.

DILLARD: We're the people who live with him. You know, it's like, Jessa made a good point as we were talking. She said, you know, I think the heart part is here is that our viewers feel like they're in our home every Tuesday night. They feel like they know our family but when we're out and about and people like, coming up to us and saying, you know, hey, Jessa, or hey Jill, you know, and we're going, hi, you know, we're really friendly and everything. But we don't first time.

KELLY: Right.

SEEWALD: Like we don't have that personal.

DILLARD: And so, yes, and so like, you know, people expecting to know every detail of our lives when this happened long ago --

SEEWALD: Before the TV show.

DILLARD: We're not going to say, you know, hi, nice to meet you, here's everything that's ever gone on.

KELLY: Of course. Right. Right. And when you found out this was going to be on the cover of "In Touch Weekly," what was your reaction?

DILLARD: I'll tell you, we were pretty serious.

SEEWALD: We were not happy.

DILLARD: I called my husband and I was in tears. I couldn't believe what was going on. Whenever I heard the police reports had been released, that I said what -- like they didn't have the right to do this. We're victims. They can't do this to us.

KELLY: And yet they did.

DILLARD: And they did.

SEEWALD: A system that was set up to protect kid, both those who make stupid mistakes or have problems like this in their lives and the ones that are affected by those choices, it's just -- it's greatly failed. And for us it's like go to the store and there's your picture on a magazine or whatever and you're like --

DILLARD: And they're like, you know, whatever thing they might say, you know, legally, we can do this, we can do that, it's like obviously not, like, they're not protecting us here.

SEEWALD: Well, and the Freedom of Information Act is not -- you can't FOIA a juvenile case, everybody knows that.

KELLY: Uh-mm.

SEEWALD: And so I think there's probably some hokey pokey going on there, and I don't know what's the whole deal was. I mean, I'm guessing -- DILLARD: There may be an agenda. I mean, I know that the tabloids that released it, you know, they're used to exploiting women. They have this parent company --

SEEWALD: Yes. Well, Bauer, like they're a major porn provider.


SEEWALD: And so I don't know, just maybe their mindset they're just used to making objects out of women and maybe we just didn't seem any different.

KELLY: But, Jill, you when we see the tears, what was it? I mean, what was it about the disclosure that was so painful?

DILLARD: Well, I see it as a re-victimization that's even a thousand times worse.


DILLARD: Because this is something that was already dealt with. We've already forgiven Josh, we've already moved on.

KELLY: Is it humiliating or what is the emotion that you're feeling?

DILLARD: Well, it's not the truth, first of all. Everything was distorted. And so we feel like our story was not being told. And we felt like it shouldn't have been told. We're -- the victims are the only ones who can speak for themselves. So now that it's already been warped and told however they want to portray it, then we felt like that's why Jessa and I wanted to come out and just say, like, that's not what happened. We've dealt with it, we've taken care of it.

KELLY: Do you feel like you're speaking on behalf of your other sisters, too? To your younger sisters?

DILLARD: No, we can't. We can't speak for the other ones. But I feel like as far as --

SEEWALD: I can speak for the others as far as saying that everybody's angry that it's been publicized.

DILLARD: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

KELLY: How about when it comes to forgiving Josh?

SEEWALD: Oh, everybody is forgiven. We've all forgiven. And we've all moved on.

DILLARD: That was long ago.

KELLY: How about the baby-sitter? Her too? The baby-sitter as well?

SEEWALD: Yes. Definitely.

KELLY: Your parents suggest they're looking into legal action against the parties involved. Would you like to see that?


KELLY: Up next, the women answer that question, they discuss the counseling they received and they'll tell us what's next for the Duggar family.


JACKIE IBANEZ, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Live from America's News Headquarters, I'm Jackie Ibanez. Government sources voicing concern that the cyber attack affected (ph) more than 4 million federal employment files is just the tip of the iceberg. The hackers are believed to be from China, and there are now worries they'll use the stolen information to prying to more secure computers. If that happens, they could get their hands on secrets about the U.S. Military, economic strategy and foreign relation.

Tornado warnings and flashflood watches are in effect for a large part of Colorado right now. The National Weather Service says, "A large tornado did touch down this afternoon in Elbert County, just East of Denver." So far there are no reports of damage or injuries. The area was also hit by several twisters yesterday, which destroyed at least three homes and damaged many more. I'm Jackie Ibanez. Now, back to "The Kelly File."

MEGYN KELLY, THE KELLY FILE HOST: Well, Jill and JESSA LAUREN DUGGAR SEEWALD feel violated by the public disclosure of their ordeal. But do they feel someone should be punished? Watch.


KELLY: Your parents suggest they're looking into legal action against the parties involved. Would you like to see that?


JESSA LAUREN DUGGAR SEEWALD, DUGGAR FAMILY MEMBER: I can say what was done was very wrong. I mean, the terrible thing about being a victim is that you're helpless in the moment over the actions of others. Like - and then I feel like in this situation, we're again helpless as to the people handing over this report and then the tabloids taking that and - and printing that, sensationalizing it and really using it for their own profit.

KELLY: We've seen so many in this country stand up on behalf of child victims. We've seen very little of that in - with respect to your case in your privacy rights and the violation of the hose promises that your record and your testimony would be sealed. Do you think it has something to do with who you are - who the Duggars are? What your stands for?

SEEWALD: I definitely feel like people that - that already don't really like our family would be the ones to really spread this around and maliciously do so, slanderously do so. Definitely, they didn't have the victims in mind.

DILLARD: And I feel.

SEEWALD: People that are like -- I feel for the girls and like, "No, you really don't because if you did, you would - you would respect our wish for things to remain private." And that's just - I mean, that's been a violation of trust.

DILLARD: And I feel for the other families out there. I mean, statistics say two-thirds of families deal with something like that and that's only the families who are reporting it. And I feel for the other victims out there and other families who maybe the parents may take a pause before they do something to report or to take care of what's going on, and maybe, you know, these other victims will continue to live just not even having their situations dealt with.

KELLY: Someone referred back to the charges -- or the - the incident initially and said, "Well, the only reason charges weren't brought is that the statute of limitations had run by the time the police finally looked into this." Would you ever have supported a prosecution against Josh?

SEEWALD: I think by the time that all of that was done, the report was made and everything, it was very obvious to everyone, us and our family, friends, officials that Josh was a completely changed person. He had not gone down that path for years, he was -- he was humble before God, before us, before the officials that were involved.


DILLARD: I mean, we all went through professional counseling, but Josh did, too, and.


DILLARD: . I mean, he had to pay for his own and.

KELLY: Did you have to work that out? I mean, what -- what were you working out there?

DILLARD: You know, what you do in counseling. You talk about what happened, you talk about the actions that have been taken you. You just -- we really wanted to make sure that everything in our hearts was dealt with.


KELLY: Was it cathartic for you?

DILLARD: Not anything.

KELLY: Did you - did you solve some things in there?

SEEWALD: It was - it was really good and I'm really grateful that - that my parents encouraged us to -- to go through that, to get that licensed counseling and all what. I think it was - it was really helpful for us to just kind of close that chapter.

DILLARD: Closure.

SEEWALD: . and move past it, you know, it really was, do you remember.


KELLY: For you looking back, with the exclusion of the disclosure of it today, you know, in the recent weeks, what was the most difficult part of it for you?

SEEWALD: You said with the exclusion of today?

KELLY: Yeah.

SEEWALD: I don't think we can exclude today. I mean, definitely it was difficult whenever all this came up, you know, the shock of this happened and then - then talking about it with the family and counseling, I mean, every step was just kind of like difficult to walk through, but I'd definitely say that the.


SEEWALD: . past two weeks have been a thousand times worse for us.

KELLY: Do you care about the TLC Show? Do you want to see it continue?

DILLARD: You know, we've always just had the mindset of this show is just a window of opportunity that God's allowed our family to be on television and to share with other people our lives.

KELLY: So, what about the fact that that opportunity may now disappear, not just for Josh and your parents but for you as well.

SEEWALD: Life goes on really. We're not a TV family. We're a family that just happened to be on TV. And so we love.


DILLARD: We love - we do love our film crew, I will say. I love.

KELLY: Even (ph) with the crew.

DILLARD: Yeah, the best film crew. They're like family to us. And so we'll see. You know, we'll see what the - what life brings. And so, we don't know at this point.

KELLY: This is it, right? It's not like another big Duggar family secret that's going to come out.



KELLY: OK. So, you feel like if you can weather this storm with TLC.

DILLARD: You know, we've been through a lot together. I think - and I think our viewers have seen that, even just the journey that our family has taken. It's not always been easy on television. They've seen that and yet we've still allowed the filming to take place and just allowed people to see our struggles, see things that we've gone through from my little sister Josie being born premature and then (inaudible), yeah, funerals and stuff. And so I think this is another struggle that we're going through right now, another hard time, but I think it's bringing our family even closer together.

SEEWALD: Definitely.

DILLARD: And we'll make it through this, too.

SEEWALD: We were saying that. We were also - and around like when all this came out and I was just like, guys, the people out there - they might turn things out but hey, look on the bright side. It's not about us pinning (ph). At least grow in harmony as a family and we all love each other like crazy.

KELLY: Thank you so much for speaking with us and telling your stories.

SEEWALD: Thank you.

DILLARD: Thank you.


KELLY: Remarkable. Well, the Duggar girls talked repeatedly tonight about the media and how they felt victimized not once but twice. Howie Kurtz is next on that.


KELLY: What was it about the disclosure that was so painful.

DILLARD: Well, I see it as a revictimization that's even a thousand times worse.




KELLY: When you found out this was going to be on the cover of -- of "In Touch Weekly," what was your reaction?

SEEWALD: I'll tell you, we were pretty serious. We were not happy.

DILLARD: I called - and I was in tears. I couldn't believe what was going on. (CRYING). Whenever I heard the police reports had been release, then I said, "What - like - how -- they didn't have a right to do this." This is it. We're victims. They can't do this to us.

KELLY: And yet they did.

DILLARD: They did.


KELLY: Jill Duggar Dillard tearfully explaining how the decision of "In Touch Magazine" to release the report that all but identified her as the sexual abuse victim made her feel victimized all over again.

Howie Kurtz is the host of Fox News "MediaBuzz" right here on FNC. And what was extraordinary in that moment, Howie, was as the silence dawned on the room and the tears flowed, you could hear Jill's infant son, 2 months old, crying in the room above us, son crying as his mother suffered below, recalling the pain of the past two weeks and her sister sitting next to her is pregnant, expecting her first baby, too.

These are vibrant, beautiful young women who are supposed to be in the prime of their lives, and you tell me what -- what, if any, ethical obligations "In Touch Magazine" had to think of them before they put that story in their magazine, basically identifying them as sex abuse victims.

HOWIE KURTZ, FOX NEWS MEDIABUZZ HOST: Watching Jill and Jessa bravely struggle through that interview, through the tears, watching them say that they felt victimized a thousand times worse by a tabloid than the original unwanted touching just breaks your heart. And so put aside the legalities, I have to ask the moral question, why is it OK for "In Touch Weekly" and then every other media outlet on the planet to violate an ironclad rule of journalism and essentially identify these young women?

KELLY: They did because they revealed that it was the sisters. And it doesn't take a lot of Math to figure out who was, what age at the time, and who is in that police report. And we're supposed to follow this code where we don't do that. And what happened to the code? Is it that this is a Christian outspoken family that does pass judgment on certain people's lifestyles? I get it. But I didn't see that exception in the ethics book.

KURTZ: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that, you know, maybe there was a sense that this is a reality show, these people put themselves out there, there they preach Christian values, they're hypocrites, they're fair game. But, you know, it all seemed very abstract when the media were kind of lapping up this admittedly, you know, riveting story about Josh Duggar and family and the show and the - and the molestation. But when you look at those two young women, who as you say, one a new mother, one about to be a mother, you know, it's almost like they were collateral damage, nobody thought of them.

KELLY: And - and I see these pundits on - on other shows talking about how - you know, who is there to protect them? Where were the parents? Where is there thought for the girls now? Where is their condemnation for the media that was only too willing to throw away the confidentiality that was promised to those girls and guaranteed under the law? I don't see it.

KURTZ: What's stunning here, Megyn, is that the media's conduct in this whole thing has really kind of been a non-issue because it's so much easier to - to feast on this spectacle. Look, I don't have any problem with criticism of Josh Duggar, who did a horrible thing and who I noticed did not join your interview and I don't have any criticism with parents who I think did put the family at risk by putting them in the glare of a reality show while having this secret.

But to listen to Jill and Jessa is - is almost like a clinic -- a heartbreaking clinic in the fact that media can inflict a lot of damage on people and - and - and these two women, who are the victims, although in some ways they didn't think of themselves as victims, but it made clear that they were and they were dealing with their brother who they loved, all of that. They've been dragged through the mud here. They didn't want to be sitting.


KURTZ: . there talking to you and, of course, they had to and.

KELLY: . but what of.

KURTZ: . it was brave of them to tell their story.

KELLY: . what if the other victims who are out there right now considering going forward, considering calling that hotline, Howie, and - and the only way they will do it is that there is a promise of confidentiality and that they will be protected if they are juveniles and they see this.

KURTZ: That's the worst of it. Police say, "This is confidential. It will never come out." And counselors tell people to come forward and, of course, we want people to report sexual abuse. They see this and there's got to be some gnawing doubt that maybe they shouldn't come forward. And that's the flawed here and that's just the - and that's the question for the media to wrestle with and they need to wrestle with it. All of us need to wrestle with it. At what point is the story not worth it because of the damage inflicted on people who, in this particular case, didn't ask for this, were victims of abuse within their own family.

KELLY: Howie, thank you.

KURTZ: My pleasure.

KELLY: Jessa and Jill were brave enough to speak out about such a sensitive topic in the midst of their family crisis. Up next, we'll ask an expert about the choice the Duggars faced and what really were their options? Don't miss it.



KELLY: You've heard your brother (ph) all along (ph). Do you feel - do you feel like the victim of - of a molestation?

SEEWALD: Well, I think in the case of what Josh did it was very wrong. I'm not going to justify anything that he did or say it was OK. Not permissible. But I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist some people are saying and like that is so overboard and a lie really.


KELLY: Jessa Duggar talking about her brother, Josh. Joining me now with more, Emily Horowitz, She holds a doctorate and sociology from Yale University. She chairs the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at St. Francis College and she is also the author of "Protecting Our Kids, How Sex Offender Laws are Failing Us."

Emily, thank you very much for being here.


KELLY: What did you make of the girls' testimonial there.

HOROWITZ: I think it highlights the complex nature of sexual abuse within families, particularly when the perpetrators are also children.

KELLY: How so?

HOROWITZ: They clearly love their brother. It wouldn't have necessarily been the best thing if he had been sent to prison, put on the sex offender registry for life. This family faced a terrible choice. One- third of people who sexually abuse children are children themselves. So as a society we have to recognize this. We don't talk about this. Many people on the sex offender registry are children. The Duggar.

KELLY: Look (ph), it can be as young as 9 or 10 years old.

HOROWITZ: That's right. That's right. So, in researching my book, I interviewed many people who grew up on the registry, who were convicted of sex offenses as children for things similar to this. The average age of people who sexually abuse children, who are child sexual abusers of children, they are 14.

KELLY: That's - now, that's important because we look in to this. And I think the question a lot of people have is, is Josh Duggar a child molester in the way that we understand that term today? Is this somebody who is likely to reoffend in the way we see adult child molesters do over and over again.

HOROWITZ: First of all, sex offenders, in general, have much lower recidivism rates than is commonly believe.


KELLY: Really?

HOROWITZ: . we'd like to think, yes. We'd like to think sex offenders are predatory, uncontrollable. That's a very small, small percentage of people who are convicted of sex offenses. They commit sex offenses. Juvenile sex offenders like Josh Duggar have even lower rates. Day (ph) treatment is effective. Intervention is effective.

KELLY: We saw - we saw a 2009 Department of Justice Study that said, those who offend around this age, 14, 15 years old, 85 to 90 percent of them never commit another sexual offense again.

HOROWITZ: That's right.

KELLY: Is that true?

HOROWITZ: That's right.

KELLY: That's a credible study?

HOROWITZ: That's a credible study. Another study found an even lower rate of re-offense. Treatment works, intervention works.

KELLY: Let me ask you this, because the girls, you know, you talk about how the parents faced a terrible choice.

HOROWITZ: That's right.

KELLY: And we talked about that on the air the other night. A lot of viewer said, no they didn't. They did not. It was a clear choice. You turn in the son (ph); you get him out of the house immediately to protect your other daughters and because the Duggars didn't do that immediately. They had other girls fall victim to what they view as a predator.

HOROWITZ: Well, let's step back for a minute. There's so much emotion and hysteria surrounding this issue. The minute the story came out which probably the pitchforks (ph) came out. They said these people did a terrible thing. Can you imagine having one child who's sexually -- accused of sexually abusing your other children. It's a terrible dilemma. They love their son. They love their daughters. They want to help. They want to protect everyone. If you go to the police, you will be taken out of the home, you will be put in jail. Another case that's very.


KELLY: Immediately.

HOROWITZ: Immediately.

KELLY: You involve the cops.

HOROWITZ: That's right. You involve the police.

KELLY: Although that didn't happen here. They went to a state trooper, but it didn't happen initially.

HOROWITZ: That's right. This was unusual.

KELLY: Do you have any concern if somebody who's in this line of work of what message the outing of this, the - the backlash against the family is sending to other child abuse victims, sexual abuse victims?

HOROWITZ: I think families are going to be even more hesitant to get help.

KELLY: Thank you for being here.

HOROWITZ: Thank you so much.

KELLY: Coming up. Some final thoughts before we go.


KELLY: The judge in the Duggar's juvenile case says, "This police report should never have been disclosed." So, city attorney maintains it was lawful. If the law says it is OK to out child sexual abuse victims in this way, the law needs to be changed. This case may shine a light on how can better protect young victims in their homes and in the media. If you are someone in need of help, please find the courage to come forward. Call 1-800-4-a-child. I'm Megyn Kelly. Thank you for watching.

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