Counting On alum Jinger Vuolo (née Duggar) opened up about her brother Josh Duggar’s difficult child pornography trial, revealing to ABC News that she has not spoken to him since he started his prison stay.
“It’s hard to talk about,” she revealed on Monday, January 30, just one day before the release of her memoir, Becoming Free Indeed. “I talk a little bit about that in the book and how my heart just breaks for the victims and their families – but for all the trail of pain that’s been left behind.”
Jinger and her husband, Jeremy Vuolo, have been vocal about their feelings toward her eldest brother following his 2021 arrest on child pornography charges, with Jeremy telling TODAY that they were “horrified.”
“Nothing can prepare someone to receive news like that,” the former soccer player, 35, told the outlet in May 2021. “Like everyone else, we are absolutely horrified, and want to see justice carried out.”
For her part, Jinger released a statement at the time, saying, “We are saddened for the victims of horrific child abuse. We are also saddened for Josh’s family, his wife and precious children. We are saddened for the dishonor this has brought upon Christ’s name. Josh claims to be a Christian.”
Further telling ABC Newsthat she is still communicates with her parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Jinger revealed that the “best thing” she can do for her brother is “pray for him.”
The disgraced reality star – who shares children Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus, Meredith, Mason, Maryella and Madyson with wife Anna Duggar – was found guilty of one count of receiving and one count of possessing child pornography images and sentenced to 151 months in prison in May 2022. In Touch confirmed in July 2022 that his release date was changed to August 12, 2032, making his sentence just more than a decade. Following his release from FCI Seagoville, Josh is facing up to 20 years’ probation.
“It’s so heartbreaking to see the decisions my brother Josh has made, and my heart breaks for the victims and their families and all that they’ve been through,” Jinger told People earlier this month. “I pray that Josh will genuinely change one day and come to know Christ for who he is and repent.”
While Jinger admitted she hasn’t spoken to her brother in two years and doesn’t “have any desire to talk to him,” she went on to say that she’s “always here” for her sister-in-law as well as her nieces and nephews.
“At any point that they would want to talk, or in any way I could help and love on them,” Jinger continued, “I know that they’ve just been through so much and so I just always am here for them whenever they need help.”
Despite the 19 Kids & Counting alum’s sentiment, Anna, 34, has been distancing herself from Jinger and her sisters since Josh’s sentencing.
“It started after some family members spoke out about Josh’s arrest,” an insider exclusively told In Touch in October 2022. “It was a nightmare navigating all that. Yes, it was horrible what Josh was accused of, but she needed unconditional support. Anna took it as a betrayal, and she’s still not ready to fully forgive some family members.”