'Duck Dynasty' star Jep Robertson reveals molestation in his past, gives Josh Duggar advice
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/09/2015
Duck Dynasty star Jep Robertson has revealed he was molested when he was young.
While promoting his new book -- The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness -- co-written with his wife Jessica Robertson, 37-year-old Jep disclosed some disturbing details about his past.
"I was six and it was on a school bus and it was an older girl, and it was just real mean," Jep toldEntertainment Tonight.
"Back then, the high school students would ride on the same bus as the grade school. There was this girl there that was just real mean. I think she was probably just terribly abused herself, I don't know, but it was a lot of things took place -- scary stuff. It was tough."
In the book, Jep reportedly described how the older girl would sit next to him on the bus, and although she seemed sweet and almost motherly, she started doing strange things like putting his hand up her shirt or making him pull his pants down. According to ET, Jep said whatever was going on just didn't seem right.
Jep apparently didn't want to tell anybody about the molesting incident.
"I didn't want to go to school. I had a lot of absences. My mom always thought I was sick and there was definitely other reasons I didn't want to go to school. I think for a while I just tried to bury it so deep that I kind of forgot about it for a while. I think God put that on me for meeting someone like [my wife] Jessica who went through some hard times herself and I think it made our relationship stronger once we talked about it," Jep explained.
Jep discussed the situation with his wife -- the mother of his three daughters and one son -- but he always had trouble confiding in his extremely religious parents.
"I don't know if I necessarily consciously wanted to [keep it a secret]. I was more embarrassed. I think in the end, I didn't want my mom and dad to think they did anything wrong, and they didn't. It was just one of those things that happened, and I think it took me a long time to realize what had happened and how it effected me," Jep said.
"I don't think anything that happened to me made me do anything bad. I hear people say that. I do think it affected the way I look at certain things. I was really scared of girls and just women in general, but I think God had a plan for that. I know it sounds weird but it's helped me now that I have a bunch of girls."
Jep told ET his experiences have helped him communicate better with his daughters in regards to "what's right and what's wrong" and "where you should be touched or not be touched." Jep said it was a "tough thing" to deal with but he just kept on living and eventually moved on.
Jep's announcement is fresh on the heels of 19 Kids & Counting star Josh Duggar's own story getting discussed in the media. However, Josh had been the one to molest a handful of young girls about 12 years ago when he was a teenager. His secret past forced TLC to cancel his family's reality series, at least temporarily, and he's received so much backlash from people.
Jep therefore offered some advice for Josh and his family as they are going through this struggle in the public eye.
"I think we as a family just stuck together and prayed a lot. [I don't] really know what's in [Josh's] heart. At some point, I think you got to get a tough skin and no matter what anybody says about you, you just got to be like, 'We're just going to keep doing what we do,'" Jep explained.
Jessica then chimed in and said Josh's family is staying close-knit and will therefore survive the scrutiny.
In addition to his confession of being molested many years ago, Jep also admitted he had abused alcohol and drugs as a teen in high school.
"I got to be friends with some guys that had just graduated. It was the first time I had seen drugs or anything like that and it was just kind of a slow process where I got to partying with them and by the end of my senior year I had really gone off the rails and every day I was using," Jep said.
"I was drinking. Smoking any kind of drug you can think of. I pretty much tried them all. I was definitely down a bad road and almost died one night."
Jep's mother and father, however, staged an intervention and got him back on track.
The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God will hit shelves June 23.
Duck Dynasty will be returning to A&E on Wednesday, June 24 at 9:30PM ET/PT.