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TLC pulls '19 Kids and Counting' amid molestation scandal involving Josh Duggar

TLC has stopped airing episodes of its hit reality series '19 Kids and Counting,' in light of molestation allegations involving Josh Duggar.
/ Source: TODAY

TLC has stopped airing episodes of its hit reality series "19 Kids and Counting," in light of molestation allegations involving the Duggar family's oldest child.

The network made the announcement on its Facebook page Friday afternoon, telling viewers, "Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time."

Josh Duggar, 27, has been accused of molesting five underage girls in incidents that occurred in 2002.

In Touch magazine reported the allegations earlier this week, after obtaining police records that also showed Josh's father, Jim Bob Duggar, knew about the incidents but waited more than a year before contacting authorities.

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," Josh, now a father of three, said in a statement Thursday.

The Duggar and Dillard families Duggar Family (L to R): ..a. Back Row: Jedidiah Duggar, Joseph Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar, Daniel Dillard, Jill Dillard, Derick Dillard, Jim Bob Duggar, Michelle Duggar, John-David Duggar, Jessa Duggar, Ben Seewald..b. Middle Row: Jana Duggar, Josiah Duggar, Grandma Duggar, Cathy Dillard, Jinger Duggar, Anna Duggar, Marcus Duggar (baby), Josh Duggar, Jeremiah Duggar..c. Front Row-B: James Duggar, Jennifer Duggar, Jordyn-Grace Duggar, Josie Duggar, Mackynzie Duggar, Johannah Duggar, Michael Duggar..d. Front Row-A: Jackson Duggar, Justin Duggar, Jason Duggar.. stands for a portrait on June 21, 2014 in Springdale, Arkansas. (Discovery Communications).TLC

The Duggars addressed the allegations on the family's Facebook page Thursday, writing, "When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked." They called the period "one of the most difficult times of our lives."

Josh, who is expecting his fourth child with wife Anna, resigned Thursday from his position with the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group.