The process of looking back is particularly infuriating in Josh’s case, as there were so many warning signs that were ignored by the people who were in a position to take action.
It wasn’t long, of course, before the Duggars – sans Josh – were back on the network with a different series, oddly titled Counting On.
And for fans of the family, all was quickly forgotten. But for those who were victimized by Josh, it wasn’t quite so easy to move on.
Years later, the scars remain, and now, one of the victims is speaking out like never before to remind the public just who Josh is.
Danica bravely spoke out years ago, and with Josh back in the news, she’s come forward again to offer a harrowing account of the ways in which Josh’s attack — and his family’s attempts to silence him — have turned her once-promising life into a tragedy.
Back in 2015, Danica Dillon accused Josh Duggar of brutally assaulting her during a paid sexual encounter. All these years later, she still bears the emotional scars of the attack.
A Waking Nightmare
Dillon – whose real name is Ashley Johnston – claimed in a lawsuit that Josh choked her, spit on her, and called her “worthless” after paying her for sex.
At the time she went public with her story, Josh was already under fire in a major way, having allegedly molested four of his sisters.
Living With the Trauma
Danica has stated in the past, and again in 2020, that Josh treated her so brutally during their two encounters that she felt “like this guy tried to kill me.”
An Attempt to Move On
She eventually dropped her lawsuit against the disgraced former reality star — seen here with his wife Anna in an undated photo — seemingly due to an undisclosed settlement.
But in a 2020 interview with The Sun, she stated that Josh “knows what he’s done and has to live with his demons.”
“At the time I had met a guy at a club that looked like your average every day, normal person,” Danica said of her first encounter with Josh in a strip club. (Remember, he was married to Anna with multiple children at the time of this alleged meeting.)
“I had done dancing and then he initially came up to me and said, ‘Hey, do you want to hang out after?'” Danica recalls.
Not Taking “No” For an Answer
The alleged family values proponent and right-wing lobbyist really, really wanted some alone time with her, she says. “I was like, ‘no’ because I had friends in town … he kept on, he was so persistent and he hung around until I was done,” she recalled.
Used to Getting What He Wants
Dillon says she initially refused Josh several times, but the family man from Arkansas was just so persistent that she eventually gave in and allowed him to meet her at her hotel room.
“He came up. And it started off normal, but then it just got super aggressive… my airflow [was restricted], I was doing things that were super uncomfortable to me and I had said no multiple times,” she recalled.
Fear of the Authorities
Dillon says that despite the brutality of the assault, she held off on contacting the police due to the fact that she had been working as an escort. Also, there was another reason – she says she blamed herself for the attack, a mentality that’s sadly common among sexual assault survivors.
Sadly, countless women can relate to what Danica had to say about her plight. “In those situations, when you know that you’re doing something wrong on your end, your first instinct isn’t to call the police or call 911 and say you were just assaulted,” she said.
Very, Very Wrong
“Even though that person, what they were doing was wrong on multiple levels as well,” Dillon added, noting that her status as a sex worker seemed to make Josh think he could do whatever he wanted.
What a Guy
“So fast forward, like it all ends. And money got thrown on my hotel dresser and he walked out,” Dillon continued. Class act, that Josh.
Insult to Injury
Turns out he shorted her on payment as well. “And then of course I counted the money and it was short and I was super frustrated,” she added. I was like, ‘This guy tried to kill me, and he didn’t even pay me.'”
A Born Abuser
Dillon says Josh paid her $1,500, which was less than the rate they had agreed upon (but still $1,500 more than Jim Bob surely ever thought his offspring would one day pay to a sex worker.)
A Weak Apology
Incredibly, Duggar showed up to another one of Dillon’s dancing gigs shortly thereafter, and she says he was quick to apologize for the assault that took place.
“He showed up to that a completely different personality, very apologetic, said, ‘I’m so sorry,'” Danica alleged.
An Appalling Explanation
Wait until you hear how he justified this. “He said, ‘I’ve seen your videos and I’ve seen how you’ve been treated in some of your videos. And I just assumed that I could do that to you. And you know, in some of your videos you’ve said no, and they kept going,'” Dillon recalled.
A Second Chance
Revolting as he is, she relented. “He was super apologetic and this kind of goes into my past abuse that means it’s hard for me to be a ‘no’ person,” she said.
Back Into the Lion’s Den
Dillon says she agreed to meet with Josh a second time, but only if he promised to behave himself.
The Final Encounter
“So I was like, ‘Sure, I don’t care. Just ‘no is no’ this time – it can’t happen again.’ And it didn’t, things were completely different. And that was kind of the end of it,” she said.
Dredging Up the Past
According to Dillon, she was able to put the incident behind her … until the celebrity gossip tabloids got hold of the story about his sexual dalliances and affairs.
A Painful Allegation
“I Googled it and I saw a picture and headline stating that I was a mistress or I was a home-wrecker or something along those lines…” she said.
Asked about the reaction after she decided to come forward, Dillon stated, “It was 50/50. I got the really super Bible thumping people of the world who were very nasty to me and very doubtful and very negative.
The Good People
“But then you have the women’s rights activists and people that were like, ‘I’m so proud of you. I’m glad for you for speaking out against violence against women, sexual assaults,'” she added.
Called a Liar
“But then once the lawsuit got dropped, I was very criticized and very attacked after that point, because people were like, ‘She definitely was lying,'” Dillon added.
An Important Point
“How dare she, how dare she shame other women, this is the reason why women are never believed or understood when they actually get sexually abused,” she continued.
Asked how she feels about Josh these days, Dillon said, “He has done terrible things to other people that happened before my incident… he knows what he’s done and he has to live with his demons.
Standing By Her Man
“My biggest thing is his wife has stood by his side and I don’t I think it’s because she wanted to, I think it’s because she thought that she didn’t have a choice in the matter,” Dillon added.
To this day, Josh continues to deny that he assaulted Dillon.
When the news of Josh’s arrest went public, Danica was interviewed by The Sun a second time. She says that like so many others, she was in no way shocked by the news.
“I’m not shocked by it. I’m not shocked in the least. He’s been a disgusting man his entire young adult life,” Dillon told UK tabloid The Sun.
Still Paying the Price
Dillon says shew was fired from her job as a corrections officer as a result of the negative press surrounding the trial. She currently works at Wal-Mart and says she looks forward to seeing the entire Duggar family put on trial.
David vs. Goliath
“One of my friends was my attorney, I knew this guy personally. I didn’t have the income to take on TLC or the Duggar family,” she says. “I am just one individual person that cannot take on an entire team, and that sucks in the justice system so bad.”
A United Front
Hopefully, this time around, Josh’s wealthy and influential parents won’t be able to buy his way out of trouble.
The Damage Is Done
But no matter what happens at trial, for Danica and so many others, the wheels of justice turned too slowly, and Josh was allowed to get away with far too much for far too long.