‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Jep Robertson Claims Sexual Abuse Happened in Childhood, Has Advice for Duggar Family

( [email protected] ) Jun 08, 2015 08:51 PM EDT
“Duck Dynasty” star Jep Robertson came out with explosive allegations that he kept secret until recently. He claimed that he was molested by an older student back in grade school.
Jessica and Jep Robertson. Photo: Startraks/REX

"Duck Dynasty" star Jep Robertson came out with explosive allegations that he kept secret until recently. He claimed that he was molested by an older student back in grade school.

In an exclusive interview with Raphael Chestang of Entertainment Tonight, the 37-year-old Robertson opened up about the sex abuse allegations. He did the interview ahead of his new book, The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness, which he wrote alongside his wife, Jessica.

"I was 6 and it was on a school bus and it was an older girl," Robertson said. "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 don't know, but it was a lot of things took place -- scary stuff. It was tough."

Robertson told ET that he kept the abuse allegations a secret.

"I didn't want to go to school. I had a lot of absences," Robertson recalled. "My mom always thought I was sick and there [were] 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."

However, Robertson said that he opened up about the abuse allegations to his wife.

"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," Robertson said.

Entertainment Tonight published an excerpt of Robertson's book in regards to the alleged incident.

"An older girl started sitting next to me," Robertson wrote. "She seemed sweet at first. She'd come sit beside me, like a motherly figure almost. I remember her being sweet and taking care of me. I liked to sit in the back so she'd come sit with me."

Robertson noted that the girl supposedly "started doing strange things to him" during his rides on the school bus.

"She'd take my hands and push them up under her shirt and tell me I was tickling her. Then she started making me pull down my pants," Robertson wrote. "It was awkward. I didn't know what was going on, but I knew something wasn't right."

Robertson, the father of four children, told Entertainment Tonight that he had difficulty talking about his dark secret openly to his parents, noting that he was "more embarrassed" about it.

"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," Robertson said. "I think it took me a long time to realize what had happened and how it [affected] me. Like I've said before, I don't think anything that happened to me made me do anything bad."

Robertson acknowledged that the alleged incidents have "affected the way I look at certain things." However, he believed that "God had a plan for that."

"I know it sounds weird but it's helped me now that I have a bunch of girls," Robertson wrote. "I think it helps us really communicate with them on what's right and what's wrong -- where you should be touched or not be touched. It's a tough thing to go through, but you just kind of live and go through it and make the most of it."

Related: 'Duck Dynasty' Star Jessica Robertson Shares Former Struggle with Eating Disorder: 'I Fell Flat On My Face Before Searching for Jesus' 

Given the sex abuse allegations swirling around the Duggar family, Robertson and wife offered some advice to them. According to Entertainment Tonight, a report was released claiming that Josh Duggar inappropriately touched five underage girls, four of them his sisters, as a minor; Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar confirmed the report's existence.

"I think we as a family just stuck together and prayed a lot," Robertson said, adding that he personally doesn't know the Duggar family and has no idea "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,'" Robertson said.

Robertson's wife also had some comments regarding the Duggar family.

"And I think that's what they're doing," Jessica said. "I think they're staying close-knit and I think they'll be fine, but it'll be a long road."

According to Entertainment Tonight, Robertson's book will be available in stores on June 23. The new season of "Duck Dynasty" will air on A&E June 24 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.

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