Josh Duggar’s Acts of Sexual Abuse Are Not ‘Alleged’

By now, you’ve probably seen the news coverage about 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar. The eldest son of the homeschooling, conservative Christian family featured on TLC’s reality show sexually abused several young women, including his sisters. When his parents found out, they arranged for him to speak with a police officer, and they set up counseling for him and his victims. Mr. Duggar apologized Thursday after In Touch Weekly published the story and a day later, TLC announced it had pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting off the air.

Note that I called the women he sexually abused “his victims.”

That’s what I want to talk about here. I’ll be frank. I have some axes I could grind about the Family Research Council, the conservative lobbying organization Mr. Duggar worked for before his resignation Thursday and the hypocrisy exhibited by Mr. Duggar and the FRC on that front, or about my belief that Christian fundamentalist homeschooling damages children. These topics, however, have been pretty well addressed.

Instead, I want to talk about the way we talk about Josh Duggar.

The media has used the word “alleged” over and over and over again. The “alleged sexual abuse.” Do you know what “alleged” means? It means something said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality.

In 2003, an Arkansas police officer started the statute of limitations for filing charges against Mr. Duggar when he spoke with him about his actions. An anonymous tip received in December of 2006 was too late to prosecute, but led to the police report at the center of this story. The report disclosed sexual misconduct in 2002 and 2003 that involved the fondling of sleeping victims and other abusive acts with five girls. In his statement, Mr. Duggar said, “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing.” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, his parents, said in a joint statement, “When Josh was a young teenager, he made some bad mistakes, and we were shocked.” His wife, Anna, stated, “I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock… Josh shared his past teenage mistakes.”

I detail all this not to rehash the comprehensive news coverage, but to make a point. Perhaps you’ve guessed what it is.

There is proof.

There is proof, including the admissions of the perpetrator, his parents, and wife, that Josh Duggar sexually abused young girls. There is nothing “alleged” about this.

“Semantics,” maybe you say.

“Rape culture,” I reply.

One analysis of several thorough studies suggests that out of reported rapes and sexual assaults, only 2 percent to 10 percent are false reports. Skepchick founder Rebecca Watson has a video that explains studies around false rape accusations; she astutely points out, “If you always believe the alleged rapist, then you will be wrong approximately 98 times out of 100.”

And yet, the idea that “crying rape” is a tool women carry in their arsenal continues. Rape culture is real, and it’s the culture we’re all operating in. Sexual violence is the norm, and victims are often blamed for their own assaults.

Rape victims who speak out can face as much persecution as the rapists in their communities. After the guilty verdict came down in the rape trial in Steubenville, the victim was targeted by two women. Allison Huguet, one of the subjects of Jon Krakauer’s new book, Missoula, was harassed by her community after she brought charges against her rapist, who was a University of Montana football player. Rape victims that go to trial will face defense lawyers that will try to tear down their credibility and shift the blame to them. Were they drinking? What were they wearing? Were they flirting with their rapist? Had they ever been intimate with their rapist before, or suggested they were open to the possibility? Did they initially agree to a sex act, but change their minds?

This is all rape culture, and it influences how we talk about sexual assault and how we look at victims and attackers.

We need to believe victims, and we need to stop defending attackers based on their perceived character as “good guys.” Woody Allan’s defenses focus on his relationship with his children. Phylicia Rashad defended Bill Cosby because she thinks the accusations leveled against him are an attempt to destroy his legacy. Mainstream media in the Steubenville case — where video evidence proved the rape — mourned the loss of the perpetrators’ futures.

Josh Duggar repented for his sins.

And none of that matters in a conversation about the veracity of sexual assault allegations.

The abuse committed by Josh Duggar was brought to the forefront of our attention by an exposé rather than a victim, but we still can’t bring ourselves to name it definitively. Rape, sexual assault or abuse, molestation — these things are ugly. They’re hard and uncomfortable. It’s easier to look away than stare them in the face. It’s safer to be silent or talk around the subject than to decry these crimes.

It’s also wrong.

It’s time to rise up, consciously choose to respect victims, name sexual crimes as what they are, and speak out. To paraphrase Helen Reddy, “We are human. Here us roar.”

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Pug Puppy Does The Most Adorable Thing When He Spots The Camera

Pugs are insanely hilarious, especially when they are caught off guard on camera. Although, when this tiny pug in particular spots the family taping him… it’s lights, camera, and action — and boy is it funny!

When this playful pug notices the camera focusing on him, his curiosity is instantly sparked. To figure out what this mystery item is in front of him though, he decides to follow it around more closely (so close that his nose meets the camera a few times). To get even closer, he jumps up, touching the lens with his front two paws to explore the entirety of this item some more.

The best part, however, is when he stops to look into the camera with his adorably big, round eyes. Those few scenes in this clip will just melt your heart! I have to admit; the way he follows the camera around and interacts with it is just down right adorable.

Now that this silly pug has gotten comfortable with the camera, I guess you could say he is ready for his close-up. I love this!

It often seems impossible to get our pets to look at the camera when we want them to most. Do you have any funny stories of pets loving (or loathing) the camera? If so, let us know in the comments!

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Dreams Are Coming True On ‘Independence Day 2′ Set

When the highly-anticipated “Independence Day 2” hits theaters in 2016, it will be two decades since director and writer Roland Emmerich first had aliens invade, and attempt to destroy, the world in the original film.

While we don’t know a lot about the sequel, we do know Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson will be back. Producer Dean Devlin shared a photo of himself with the actor on set on Tuesday in front of a blue screen, which we hope will eventually sport some UFOs. In the caption Devlin wrote, “Hanging with David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) 20 years later is a dream come true! #IndependenceDay.”

Hanging with David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) 20 years later is a dream come true! #IndependenceDay

A photo posted by Dean Devlin (@officialdeandevlin) on

The upcoming sequel will also bring back Bill Pullman’s Thomas J. Whitmore (but not as the President), as well as Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner. New additions to the sequel will include Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher, Liam Hemsworth and Charlotte Gainsbourg, but sadly no Will Smith or Mae Whitman. Start prepping for another alien attack when “ID 2″ arrives on June 24, 2016.

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J. Drew Sheard: The Long Way Home


His famous last name automatically gets him recognized but J. Drew Sheard definitely holds his own in the music industry. The multi-talented singer and producer has dropped his second EP, appropriately titled “The Long Way Home”, and if you have followed his career you can understand why that is the title of the project. If you’re reading this and you have no idea who J. Drew is; he comes from a musical family. His mother, Karen Clark Sheard, is a member of the famous gospel group, “The Clark Sisters” and his father Bishop John Drew Sheard, the dynamic pastor in the Detroit area. However, even with his fantastic pedigree, J. Drew is as talented as the supreme family of musicians he comes from.

Like many of the pieces I write involving music artist, I also first heard the sounds of J. Drew while taking in music during this showcase in New York City at SOB’s where superstar singer Faith Evans was headlining. After the concert that night I decided to do some research on the singer from Detroit and stumbled upon a reality show that documented the lives of him, his mother and father, and his sister Kierra “KiKi” Sheard. Together they make up a music dynasty. I think it’s safe to say that J. Drew is creating his own path, out of the shadow of his gospel family, which brings me back to the title of his newest EP, “The Long Way Home.” The four songs EP is a follow up to his first EP “Never Coming Back.” After listening to both of the projects, you can hear the maturity in J. Drew’s sound. I wanted to talk with the singer about his music and so recently I sat down with J. Drew to talk about his music, his family, and the future.

KM: J. Drew thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Congrats on the success of the EP.

J. Drew: Thanks so much K! It really is a pleasure.

KM: I want to start by talking about your hometown Detroit. What influences has it had on your life and your music?

J. Drew: The Motor City, where do I start the home of Motown, a lot of great music has come out of this city. I can’t say enough how this city has shaped my music. I mean from my mom and the famous Clark Sisters to all of the greats that Motown produced. I love living in this city and I don’t take it lightly the importance of how people here have gravitated to my music and accept me.

KM: Speaking of your famous mom and even your sister “KiKi” another outstanding gospel singer. What is it like being a Sheard?

J. Drew: My last name carries so much integrity. There’s a lot of power that comes with this name and I couldn’t be any prouder to have been born into this family. My family is great in supporting my music and my career. R&B music has been constant in my life and my parents support that. It’s not a bad thing to be in their shadow. I have a lot of confidence in my music. I do believe that people are starting to accept me for me, J. Drew the artist.
KM: Great segue; let’s talk about your music, “The Long Way Home.” I like the EP, each song just flows right into the next. How would you describe your music and you as an artist?

J. Drew: I have grown tremendously with this EP. I’m at a different place in my life now and the music reflects that. I feel with this project I was able to give people a body of work that they could listen to all the way through. My family has also inspired my music and has helped me grow personally. This EP is a reflection of all the things I have learned over the years. I have children now and everything around me can inspire me in so many ways. “The Long Way Home” is a collection of work for people who enjoy my music and it’s also what they can expect from me in the future. As for J. Drew the artist, he’s someone that is very passionate about music. I will do what I need to do in order for it to happen the right way. I want to be great. I like to write great music. I’m here to create a legacy for my children. J. Drew is a family person.

In my conversation with J. Drew, I met someone who genuinely loves music and the process of making music. J. Drew the producer has been working in the industry for a while. He is signed with mega-producer and artist Pharrell to produce beats for artist. Just like his producing skills, J. Drew the complete artist is on the come up. As he rises to success he hopes one day to work with three people he says stand out in the industry, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Kanye. He has established a solid fan base and that base continues to grow as new people listen to his soulful voice. Of course he has a lot to live up to with the last name Sheard and his mother and aunts The Clark Sisters. J. Drew however is carving out his own path and laying the foundation for his own lane. “The Long Way Home” not only shows his growth but it’s the road that will lead him to ultimate success.

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan Reveals 40-Pound Weight Loss, Says He Lived On ‘A Can Of Tuna Fish A Day’ For Role

Former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jeffrey Dean Morgan revealed he lost about 40 pounds for his role on the new miniseries, “Texas Rising.”

To play the part of Erastus “Deaf” Smith, a character with tuberculosis, the 49-year-old actor admitted on “Today” that he went about shedding the weight in an extreme way.

“He had a consumption of tuberculosis. And so I got there and I was probably about 175. I left and I was about 130,” he explained. “I ate a can of tuna fish a day. I did it in the most unhealthy way possible … I didn’t consult with a doctor or anything. We had said maybe we should lose, like, 10 pounds, and I just kept going and going, and by the end of the movie, I was just [moving] like a snail.”

jeffrey dean morgan

texas rising

jeffrey dean morgan
(Morgan in 2012 and in May 2015.)

Going to such extremes to make the character look authentic may have had something to do with the 4.1 million viewers who tuned into the 10-hour History channel miniseries, which premiered on Monday night.

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Gwyneth Paltrow And Tracy Anderson Set To Release Food Line, Selling Juices And … Frosting Shots?

Gwyneth Paltrow wants to get into your kitchen.

This isn’t exactly breaking news, of course. Ever since the Oscar-winning actress reinvented herself as a healthy lifestyle guru, authoring two quotable cookbooks and launching the lifestyle website Goop, she’s been trying to insinuate herself into the American diet.

But now Paltrow is going a step further. She and her personal trainer Tracy Anderson, one of the country’s most prominent fitness gurus, announced last week that they will soon start selling a line of prepared foods designed according to their exacting nutritional specifications. They revealed the details of their joint venture, to be called 3 Green Hearts, in a glossy spread in the most recent issue of Hamptons Magazine.

In an interview with the magazine, Anderson said that the line was inspired by her work with Paltrow.

“Along the journey, we’ve always understood how important [food is] to our bodies; it’s a complete marriage with the fitness,” she said. “As people become more aware of organic foods, the importance of eating things that are whole and nutritious [becomes clear].”

Hamptons Magazine reports that 3 Green Hearts will be sold at Anderson’s new studio in East Hampton and will feature such dietetic delicacies as “made-that-day juices and smoothies, gluten-free pastas with herbs and roasted tomatoes, quinoa salads, grilled salmon, fish tacos and kale ravioli.” Oh, and “frosting shots,” which Anderson felt to be a necessity because she considers herself “a major foodie.”

Anderson said that their goal is to give people access to foods that will “settle the inflammation fire that is so many bodies.” Paltrow often refers to this same nebulous “inflammation” in writings on Goop, arguing that typical American diets allow so-called “toxins” to accumulate in the body, sparking an immune response that can eventually cause “the collapse of all systems, one by one.”

The scientific evidence supporting this claim is scanty at best. Though some studies have shown that foods high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, organic and gluten-free foods have never demonstrated anything like the power Anderson and Paltrow ascribe to them. And even if a healthy diet can fight inflammation, there’s no real evidence that this effect has anything to do with toxins, or that “detox diets” actually eliminate toxins lurking in your body.

Diets high in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains do offer many other health benefits, though — so if Paltrow’s stamp of approval gets people to eat more of them, that’s a good thing, even if her own beliefs don’t hold water.

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Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Action Figures Are Finally Here

Bad News: Most likely, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will never be your BFFs.

Good News: These Tina Fey and Amy Poehler action figures can be your BFFs.

Photo: Entertainment Earth

That’s right, the dynamic duo has been commemorated in crudely fashioned plastic, available at Comic Con International: San Diego in July. The action figures, created by toy company Bif Bang Pow!, depict the funny ladies in their classic SNL “Weekend Update” attire — but that shouldn’t limit the wacky adventures your dolls can have.

In case you don’t feel like making the trek to Comic Con, you can also preorder the toys directly from Entertainment Earth.

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H/T: Jezebel

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Mans Zelmerlow climbs UK chart

Swedish Eurovision winner Mans Zelmerlow soars to number five in the mid-week music chart with his upbeat song Heroes.

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