Duck Dynasty co-star Jep Robertson revealed Monday that he was sexually molested as a child.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the youngest son of Robertson family patriarch Phil and his wife Kay opened up about the release a new book he co-authored with is wife Jessica, where he recounts growing up as a member of the famed Louisiana reality TV family.
Of the many revelations included in the tell-all, titled, The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness, Jep, 37, claims he was molested while still in grade school by an older female student.
“I was 6 and it was on a school bus and it was an older girl,” Jep told ET. “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.”
“She seemed sweet at first. She’d come sit beside me, like a motherly figure almost,” he said. “I remember her being sweet and taking care of me. I liked to sit in the back so she’d come sit with me.”
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.
Jep said the abuse eventually took a toll on his attendance in school, and he kept it a secret for years.
The father of four told ET he finally revealed the abuse to his wife, but he did not feel comfortable talking about it to his parents, until recently.
“I don’t know if I necessarily consciously wanted to [keep it a secret],” he said. “I was more embarrassed. 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, and I think it took me a long time to realize what had happened and how it effected me.
Jep said he was afraid of girls and women for years after the abuse, but concluded: “I think God had a plan for that. I know it sounds weird but it’s helped me now that I have a bunch of girls.
Duck Dynasty Season 8 premieres on A&E, Wednesday, June 24.