Jacob Roloff Says He Was Molested by Little People, Big World Producer After 'Long Grooming Process'
"I choose to disclose it now as it remains a traumatic memory that needs to be exorcised of any further power over my development," the 23-year-old wrote in a lengthy statement on Instagram
Jacob, 23, said in a Wednesday Instagram post that he was molested by Chris Cardamone, a former producer for TLC's Little People, Big World who worked on the show featuring the Roloffs from 2007-10. Cardamone has not responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Family matriarch Amy Roloff commented on her youngest son's post, writing, “I love you forever and always Jacob. I'm proud of you. Now you don't have to feel alone and carry this around anymore.”
“Love you Jacob George Roloff … very proud!” added dad Matt.
Jacob Roloff/Instagram Jacob Roloff
Jacob’s wife Isabel Sofia Rock also supported her husband in the comments section of his post. “Proud to know you, proud to love you, proud to be your wife,” wrote Rock, who wed Jacob in September 2019.
His brother Jeremy’s wife, Audrey, commented on a line in his social media statement, “'Asking harder preliminary questions,’” she shared. “Love that line. Hate that you had to live through this Jacob.”
In his Instagram post, Jacob, who no longer appears on the reality show, said that he is talking about the experience now so that he can continue to heal.
"It is often much easier to think about things than it is to talk about them, and so this disclosure has been delayed, but through that delay I have found the fortitude and words," Jacob wrote. "As a child, after what I realize now was a long grooming process, I was molested by an executive field producer for 'Little People Big World,' Chris Cardamone."
"I do not expect to provide details of this encounter at any point publicly. I do hope he is never allowed around children again," he continued, adding that he first began thinking about going public when Cardamone texted him in November 2015, years after the alleged abuse.
"I choose to disclose it now as it remains a traumatic memory that needs to be exorcised of any further power over my development," Jacob wrote.
"By revealing this, I may be more fully understood and my perspective on issues such as child sexual abuse, child exploitation, and the collateral costs of reality television may be received more clearly. Although, I would have to add that this experience has not solely defined my point of view on any of these issues, nor has it defined my worldview in general," he said.
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"We've had some pretty rough stuff hit our house the last two months," Tori Roloff shared on Instagram Wednesday
"This may also serve as a reminder that the experience of sexual assault, in all of its iterations, can happen to anyone at anytime and is a far more prevalent reality than our current social stigma allows us to talk about," Jacob added, writing that he did not speak out sooner because "a child must process, and I needed silence and time."
In a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, TLC said: "TLC was just informed about an alleged encounter that occurred years ago involving a third party connected to the production of Little People, Big World."
"We are saddened and troubled by this very serious allegation, and TLC will work cooperatively with the authorities," the statement continued. "Our main focus remains on supporting the Roloff family during this very difficult time."
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.