Jed Duggar and his wife, Katey Duggar, fielded questions from fans on YouTube Friday and were surprisingly open about tough subjects. Jed, 23, even explained how his family is supporting Anna Duggar, the wife of his imprisoned older brother, Josh Duggar. The former Counting On star also denied that he and his siblings are "brainwashed."
One fan asked Jed and Katey, 23, how they were doing after Josh was sentenced to over 12 years in prison after he was convicted of federal child pornography charges. Rather than take the easy route and not answer the question at all, Jed explained that they were all trying to do their best to support Josh's family. Josh and Anna have seven children between the ages of 13 and 1: Mackynzie, Maryella, Marcus, Mason, Michael, Meredith, and Madyson.
"Yeah, that's been probably one of the hardest things for our family," Jed said, via InTouch Weekly. "It has saddened us – my oldest brother, his decisions, things that he's done. It's a very sensitive spot in our family. Especially with Anna, you know, their kiddos, and [we] just try to be there for them as much as we can. Um, be there for our other family members. I think spending time together as a family is important too, talking about things, and just being there."
Jed added that the "main purpose" for him and his wife is to show "love to [their] family," adding, "It's just a hard time." Jed and Katey are also parents. They welcomed their first child, son Truett, in May.
Josh, 34, was first at the center of controversy in 2015, when it was revealed that he molested multiple underage girls, including four of his sisters, as a teenager. The revelations led to TLC canceling 19 Kids and Counting, although it kept the Duggars on television through Counting On. In April 2021, Josh was arrested on federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. After a trial, he was found guilty in December. In May, he was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release, during which time he must be registered as a sex offender. He can also have no unsupervised contact with minors, including his children. TLC canceled Counting On in June 2021.
Jed and Katey were also asked about the "biggest" misunderstanding people have about the Duggar children. He said they are not brainwashed or controlled by his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. "I'm definitely not brainwashed. I have a mind of my own," Jed said. "My dad will even sometimes... We'll have an argument, disagreements where we'll just talk things out, and it's healthy. My dad is a very humble man, my mom as well. She's just the sweetest thing ever."
Jed said he understands that his parents are not perfect, but he loves them for who they are. "And so, I'm really grateful for my parents. The upbringing that I had, of course, it wasn't perfect, and I think a lot of people are seeing that now," Jed said.
Katey agreed that the idea that no one in their family has a mind of their own is a common misconception. "It's like, 'We're actually happy. We love our lives, and we make our own choices,'" Katey said. "And some of them are gonna be similar to both of our parents, and some will be different, and the same will happen with our kids too."