Josh Duggar is out of rehab, but not back to the public life he once led as the beloved first-born of Jim Bob and Michelle’s 19 Kids & Counting.
The former reality star is selling cars in relative exile in Arkansas.
It seems like a lifetime ago that Josh torpedoed the Duggar brand when the fact that he molested his own sisters as a teen came to light.
Furthermore, his parents’ handling of the situation “in-house” drew a great deal of criticism as well, dinging their once-impeccable image.
If that were the end of it, this might have been possible to get through, chalking it up to his days as a confused, but now reformed, teen.
But then Ashley Madison was hacked in 2015.
Josh was exposed as a client of the cheating website, exposing himself as an adulterer, a porn addict and the world’s biggest hypocrite.
All but banned from the family’s TV life ever since he emerged from a Reformers Unanimous in early 2016, Josh has been toiling away.
Doing what, though?
Josh and his long-suffering wife Anna Duggar, both 28, have spent the past year trying to get a grasp on their new normal back in Arkansas.
He resigned from his high-profile lobbyist post for the pro-marriage Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. in the wake of these scandals.
After a long stint in sex rehab slash Christian labor camp, and having somehow convinced Anna to not leave him, he’s back in Arkansas.
Selling cars to pay the bills, far away from the cameras.
“Josh and Anna spend most of their time at home when Josh isn’t selling cars,” a source told the venerable gossip site Radar Online.
“The family has been busy filming [Counting On].”
Josh, however, “is not going to be featured.”
Despite talk of the family easing Josh back into the spotlight, Christmas was isolating for the black sheep of the Duggar family, the source says.
When you’re a pariah who not only acted against everything your family stands for, but nearly ruined their careers, well, there’s resentment.
“They stayed at home Christmas morning, but they did end up going to the [family] compound later in the day,” said the Duggar insider.
While he can be seen in the above photo from Thanksgiving, the family clearly goes to great lengths to censor his involvement.
In TV, and in life. For the Duggars, it’s one and the same.
They can’t keep him from family functions, but TLC cut his out of Jinger’s wedding special by having him hide behind his own kid (below).
Quite a fall from grace over the last two years.
Can we say for certain whether he’ll be scuttled from any reality TV gigs and shackled to his car dealership desk for the rest of his life?
No. The Duggars play a lot of things close to the vest.
Nor can we say if Anna Duggar is pregnant with baby #5, as has been widely rumored of late, and how that would impact everything.
What we can say is that when Season 3 of Counting On premieres this month, it will be very interesting to see the direction TLC takes.
Are they planning a public apology tour eventually? Or are they content to pretend he never exists, save for an occasional social media pic?
All hope is not lost for him, in any case.
“Josh is of course selling cars, but he’s getting back into selling limos again too, and he made some money on one limo sale,” the insider adds.
Oh yes. The future looks very bright.