It has been almost two years since 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar was outed for molesting five young girls in the early 2000s.
Now we finally know who blew the whistle on him, and why.
The revelation that Josh violated his own sisters as a teenager led to his abrupt resignation from a job with the Family Research Council.
It also nearly ruined his family’s entire image, and empire.
How did such a huge story – which dominated headlines for months and led to TLC canceling the series – stay buried as long as it did?
Furthermore, how was it finally exposed to the public?
In a Washington Post article about the scandal In Touch editorial director David Perel, whose tabloid broke the story, explained it all.
“This all comes from good, basic journalism,” he said. “It comes from being there. It’s knowing where to attack and where to start digging.”
The story came together over three weeks in May 2015.
Perel won’t reveal the celebrity gossip magazine’s sources, but a woman named Tandra Barnfield apparently offered helpful assistance.
Now, a woman claiming to be the original source has come forward, motivated by a 20/20 documentary on gay conversion therapy.
She took responsibility for outing Josh Duggar on Facebook.
“I’m going confess/admit to y’all something that I did a couple of years ago that not very many people know was me,” Sherri Townsend wrote.
“I told a reporter from In Touch magazine about Josh Duggar’s molestation/ pedophilia of his sisters and others, which broke the story."
"[This] ultimately caused his resignation as the head of the Family Research Council and got his family’s hypocrisy filled show cancelled."
"Yep, that was me and I’m not at all sorry that I did it.”
Sherri said she had to go public after "sitting here sick to my stomach from watching last night’s 20/20 expose on conversion therapy camps."
"I can see that hateful religious bigotry is alive and well."
"The dangerous hate group, the Family Research Council, has doubled down on promoting their brand of bigotry causing terrible harm to countless people."
"THEY NEED TO BE BROUGHT DOWN. That group is true evil!!! Bringing them down will now be added to my list of causes!!!"
Soon after she posted it, her admission was shared on the “Duggar Family News: Life is Not All Pickles and Hairspray” Facebook page.
Numerous people asked the million-dollar question in the comments: How did Sherri Townsend know about Josh and the police investigation?!
“She lives in Springdale and she said it was pretty common knowledge in that area,” explained a page admin, on Townsend’s behalf.
“She told In Touch, for no money, after Michelle Duggar’s gay hating robocalls and In Touch [was able to hunt down] the court documents.”
Sherri’s claims are also consistent with the other In Touch source mentioned in The Washington Post article, Tandra Barnfield.
Barnfield was contacted by a reporter, Melissa Roberto, after Barnfield Instagrammed a photo of her kissing wife Samantha Muzny.
The lesbian couple’s kiss (below), of course, famously took place in front of the Duggars’ home near Springdale, Ark., and went viral.
It was their personal protest, Barnfield said, of Michelle Duggar’s role in promoting opposition to a statewide anti-discrimination initiative.
During their conversation, Barnfield, who lives near Houston but has family in Northwest Arkansas, told Roberto about the police report.
“It wasn’t like it was a rumor to us,” Barnfield said. “We knew all about it … It wasn’t hard to get it. You just had to know where to look.”
The original police investigation, which took place over a decade ago, came after tipster informed Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.
In 2006, the family filmed an Oprah segment, which never aired – likely due to the anonymous tip about Jim Bob Duggar hiding this secret.
Harpo forwarded the anonymous email to local authorities, who launched the investigation that only came to light almost a decade later.
Josh and Jim Bob were not charged in the case.
Despite the cancelation of 19 Kids and Counting by TLC, the Duggar brand was rebooted in the form of a similar series, Counting On.
Jim Bob and Michelle play only a minor role now, though, with the focus on the young adult generation: Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joy et al.
Josh is considered too radioactive to appear at all, which led the show’s editors to scrub him from all of Jinger’s wedding footage (above).
As for Josh’s marriage to Anna Duggar, that has been a frequent topic of discussion among fans, though very little is known definitively.
The family recently honored Josh’s birthday with an old photo of the couple, sparking rumors that there is serious trouble in paradise.
Or whatever you’d call Josh’s personal purgatory.