Duck Dynasty Star Opens Up About Being Sexually Abused At 6 Years Old

Photo by: KCR/Rex USA
Jep Robertson
Sadly, sexual abuse can't seem to stay out of the headlines these days, from the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting, whose eldest son Josh's acts of molestation were recently revealed years after the fact, to New York City's elite Horace Mann School, which just came under fire for a secret history of sexual assault, to former Congressman Dennis Hastert, who allegedly paid off his sexual abuse victims with federal funds. And now Duck Dynasty star Jep Robertson, the youngest brother of the Duck Commander crew, is coming clean about the grade school molestation that has been haunting him for years in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight.

"I was 6 and it was on a school bus and it was an older girl," the now 37-year-old reveals. "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."

The reality star decided to come forward about the painful experience in advance of his new book, The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness, co-written with wife Jessica. In it, Robertson describes the troubling encounters as beginning when "An older girl started sitting next to me. She seemed sweet at first ... I liked to sit in the back so she'd come sit with me." But the sweetness of their childhood interactions quickly came to an end. "After a while the girl started doing strange things. 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. It was awkward. I didn't know what was going on, but I knew something wasn't right."

Robertson kept the abuse secret for years; fearing school, he would make up excuse after excuse to stay home: "My mom always thought I was sick and there was 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."

As for why he decided to finally come forward, the reality star credits his wife, and admits to not wanting his parents to think they had done something wrong. "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."

Now, Robertson hopes to use the experience to better parent his own daughter. "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," he explains. "It's a tough thing to go through, but you just kind of live and go through it and make the most of it."
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