Jill Duggar Dillard says her dad, Jim Bob Duggar, turned many of her 18 siblings against her during her battle with him to be compensated for appearing on the family’s reality shows.
Jill— who is now estranged from her father—hadn’t said much publicly about how her battle with Jim Bob has affected her relationships with her brothers and sisters, but in her new bombshell memoir Counting the Cost, Jill revealed that Jim Bob actually used Jill’s siblings against her to try to get her to back down.
In the book, Jill states that some of her siblings started hounding her after she hired an attorney and asked Jim Bob for a copy of her 2014 19 Kids & Counting contract, as well as other documents from his business, Mad Family Inc.
“Pops went ballistic,” Jill wrote, adding that Jim Bob called, texted and left voicemails for her every day, telling her he wanted this matter resolved, all while refusing to provide the documents she was asking for.
“Then came the next wave, a consolidated effort from several of my siblings,” Jill wrote. “They hit the phones, sending voicemails and texts all day long, each one pleading with us to get this resolved [with Jim Bob].”
When that didn’t work, Jill said her siblings started dropping by Jill’s home unexpectedly and staying for hours.
“[They were] trying to figure out what our problem was and why we weren’t doing what Pops wanted,” Jill wrote, adding that the siblings got upset when Jill put an end to the hours-long conversations, which sometimes lasted until well after midnight.
Jill claims that, in early 2017, Jim Bob had finally begun paying his kids and their spouses a “small, non-negotiable” amount for each episode they filmed. (Jill and her husband Derick Dillard previously revealed that Jim Bob originally wasn’t paying his adult children to film and considered them “volunteers.”)
Jill said that small payments seemed to satisfy her siblings, who didn’t realize how much their dad was supposed to be paying them.
“It seemed to me as if they had been brainwashed into thinking that they weren’t owed anything…that they should be nothing but grateful for all the gifts and good favors he was giving them,” Jill wrote.
Jill claims that the siblings took the payments from Jim Bob, knowing that he expected them to “pile on” her and Derick “when we caused trouble, but it seemed like nearly none of them were willing to question what Pops was doing.”
One sibling— whom Jill did not name— eventually told her that Jim Bob was forcing his kids to choose sides, and even threatening legal action.
“[The sibling said,] ‘Pops is telling everyone that if we don’t stand against you both on this, then we’re standing against him. He said none of us can be neutral here, and that this affects all of us. He says we might all be sued as a result of what you’re doing.’”
After hearing that, Jill said she broke down in tears.
“It was one thing for Pops to be angry at Derick and me, but how could he justify bringing his other children into it like this?” she wrote. “How could he mislead them into thinking they might be sued…it made me sad for him. It made me scared for them.”
Jill called that period in her life “a nightmare” and said she got “fear-spiked anxiety” every time her phone rang and she saw it was a Duggar calling or texting. Eventually, one sibling came over to deliver a message from Jim Bob. The sibling said Jim Bob was offering Jill and Derick a one-time payment of $20,000, provided they signed a non-disclosure agreement forbidding them from talking about any of it. The sibling tasked with the delivery informed Jill and Derick that they had 24 hours to decide or Jim Bob would rescind the offer and give them nothing.
The Dillards did not sign the agreement.
“I felt like maybe my parents and most of my siblings thought I was greedy, and that Derick and I were horrible people for what we’d done to the family,” Jill wrote later in the chapter. “Maybe they were right.”
Later in the book, Jill said some of her siblings began to contact her when their brother Josh was charged with possessing child sex abuse materials (CSAM). Jill claims the situation finally opened some of her siblings’ eyes and made them realize what Jim Bob had been telling them may not have always been the full truth.
“Some of my siblings started to reach out,” Jill wrote. “For the first time it was clear that some of them were beginning to be skeptical of the narrative they’d been hearing at home. As they looked for themselves at the Duggar family spectacle, they started to ask their own questions.”
Since Jill’s book was announced earlier this year, very few Duggars have shown their support. However, Jill’s sister Jinger Duggar Vuolo— who is also somewhat estranged from the family– and her husband Jeremy Vuolo recently went on The Tamron Hall Show and voiced their love and support for Jill.
Counting the Cost is now available for purchase. Click here to order the book using The Ashley’s Amazon Associates link!
(Prime Video; TLC)