Behind the “Reality:” Jessica Willis Fisher on her Childhood Abuse

Behind the “Reality:” Jessica Willis Fisher on her Childhood Abuse

This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. While in their youth, Jessica Willis Fisher and her eleven siblings were thrust into the spotlight for being the perfect musical family. Having achieved nation-wide fame on America’s Got Talent, the Willis Fishers scored their own reality show in 2015, letting cameras into their pristine and heavily Christian home to document the daily lives of a happy, smiley family trying to make it in the famously non-toxic (just kidding) entertainment biz. 

So when allegations of child abuse and molestation broke out against the family’s patriarch, Toby Willis, Americans and onlookers across the globe were in disbelief. How could this family, which had been put on a pedestal and idolized extensively as “picture perfect,” possess such insanely disturbing secrets? 

Because the world is fucked up, hellooo! But our listeners already knew that. 

On today’s episode, Jessica joins us to discuss her story, as well as parallels she sees between her family and others that shared the reality show spotlight. She’s begun releasing new music again as a form of healing—you can check out her album Brand New Day here. You can also read her memoir, Unspeakable: Surviving My Childhood and Finding My Voice, here

Please note, this series includes details of sexual abuse. Listener discretion is strongly advised. If you, or someone who know, is a survivor of sexual assault, abuse, grooming, child abuse, or human trafficking, RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline offers support at 800.656.HOPE (4673).




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The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.


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Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony Ames

Production Partner: Citizens of Sound

Producer: Will Retherford

Senior Producer: Jess Tardy

Writer: Mathias Rosenzweig

Theme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin