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Jill Dillard (née Duggar) admitted she didn’t want to participate in her and her sister Jessa Seewald’s (née Duggar) spinoff series, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, but pressures from father Jim Bob Duggar allegedly left her with no choice.
While recalling how TLC had decided to create the new show after the family’s original series, 19 Kids and Counting, was canceled in 2015 following Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal, the former reality TV personality, 32, confessed during episode 2 of Prime Video’s Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets — which aired on Thursday, June 1 — that she didn’t want to take part in the production but felt like she had no say in the matter.
Claiming that all negotiations with TLC happened between the network and her father, Jill and husband Derick Dillard alleged that they were simply ordered where to go and when by the family patriarch.
“We were just told when to be there and what was going on and what we needed to do,” Derick, 34, additionally claimed about his father-in-law, further alleging that Jim Bob controlled their compensation during their time on network television.
The couple, who tied the knot in June 2014, rehashed how their wedding ceremony was broadcasted to TLC viewers. Jill claimed that she had to sign paperwork before they exchanged vows, alleging that her father tricked her into signing a contract the day before the nuptials.
“I just saw the signature page. It was like on the end of the kitchen table. Like, ‘Hey, I just need you guys to sign these,’” she said. “Like everybody was signing them. We were literally running through the kitchen, and it was like whoever you could grab on the way through. I didn’t know what it was for.”
Meanwhile Derick subsequently noted that they had signed over their lives for the next five thanks to Jim Bob’s alleged tricks, claiming that they didn’t realize what they had agreed to until they were living in El Salvador two years later.
When it came time for Jill to give birth to their first child, Israel, in 2015, the reality show had requested to be in the room at the time, the mother and father of three claimed in the docuseries. In addition to Israel, 8, Derick and Jill share sons Samuel, 4, and Freddy, 11 months.
Though Jill didn’t want anyone else present in such a private moment, Derick noted that they “basically lost,” and TLC filmed the intimate experience.
After the pair requested to be compensated for the footage, Jill alleged that TLC said it had paid Jim Bob, but she didn’t see a dime.
“They said they paid the family. Paying the family means we don’t get anything,” Derick alleged. “They said, ‘We paid your dad so take it up with him.’”
Jill further added, “For seven and a half years of my adult life, I was never paid.” Jill and Jessa: Counting On eventually concluded in September 2020 after 11 seasons.
Jill shared several shocking revelations throughout the Shiny Happy People docuseries, including that she “felt obligated” to support her disgraced brother, Josh, in the wake of his 2015 molestation scandal.
“I felt like I was in a place again of, like, bearing the burden and the weight of just — even though you volunteer, it’s like you feel obligated to help,” Jill said in the bombshell series, specifically referencing her participation in an interview aired on Megyn Kelly’s now-defunct program, The Kelly Files.
Jill herself was revealed to be one of her brother’s six victims, in addition to sisters Jessa Seewald (née Duggar), Joy-Anna Forsyth (née Duggar) and Jinger Vuolo (née Duggar). Just two months after the news came to light and Jill put on a brave face for the cameras, Josh was involved in yet another scandal amid the Ashley Madison data hack.
Six years later, he was arrested and taken into police custody after being charged with one count of possessing and one count of receiving child pornography. Though the possession conviction was later dismissed, Josh is currently serving a 12.5-year prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Facility (FCI) Seagoville in Texas.