Jill Duggar is finally giving details on how her dad Jim Bob Duggar stole her reality TV money!
As Perezcious readers know, Jill and her husband Derick Dillard were the stars of the 19 Kids and Counting spinoff that was originally titled Jill and Jessa: Counting On. The TLC show made bank with both the original and the follow-up show raking in up to $25,000-$45,000 per EPISODE. You’d think that because Jill’s name was in the title, she’d be getting a nice sum of that cash, but she revealed in 2020 she and her hubby didn’t see a dime until way later after they’d taken their issue to court:
“That’s when we got an attorney involved and finally recovered some of the money. It was a process.”
Yeah, her parents were pocketing all the money while she and her sister Jessa Duggar were doing all the work! The kids never got their money until after they took legal action in 2017, but even then she said on her YouTube channel it was only breadcrumbs:
“It probably ended up being a little more than minimum wage. But we were able to recover at least something.”
Wow. All that money they made and just poof…
But how did all this come about? Well, as we know very well now, Jim Bob is a person whose behavior is quite scummy, and this just further proves it. According to Jill in the new Prime docuseries Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, her father tricked her into signing a contract:
“It was just at the end of the kitchen table. [My dad was like,] ‘Hey, I just need you guys to sign these.’ I didn’t know what it was for.”
Later on, the fourth eldest Duggar child found out she’d signed “comittment of her life to the show” for the next five years. She alleges all negotiations made with TLC only included Jim Bob and not any of the kids. Due to this contract and having “no choice” in the matter, all of her private life was now public, whether she liked it or not. Her husband said:
“We were just told when to be there and what was going on and what we needed to do.”
So awful. And sadly, her father’s contract really took complete advantage of her entire life. She recalled giving birth to her first child, her son Israel, and no matter how much she expressed she didn’t want it to be filmed, she couldn’t turn away camera crews legally:
“A few weeks out from the birth, the production company is like, ‘Hey so we’re thinking about the birth, are you good with us having one person there?’ I was like, ‘Well actually, we don’t want you guys there at all.’ They were like, “At all?’ They were shocked. I knew for sure nobody was going to be in my delivery room. Nobody. And nobody would be there for the labor. I didn’t want any of that.”
Derick then went on to reveal it was hopeless, and even when they asked for their money for the footage, it had already been paid to someone else:
“We basically lost. They were gonna get what they wanted.”
Jill even admitted they did a lot of the footage in their own time:
“They gave us cameras and they were like, ‘You guys shoot.’ We did diary cams, we did a lot of work so they got the footage.”
And not a single cent of payment?! Not even a thank you?! Just infuriating.
The reality TV star said she felt like she’d wasted all this time in her life:
“No check, no cash, no nothing. For seven-and-a-half years of my adult life, I was never paid. We were taken advantage of.”
And things only got worse when she and her family moved to El Salvador in 2016, because she alleges the network pressured them to move back home so they could do “more shoots”:
“It was a matter of principle, like, no, we’re gonna stay here,’ Jill recalled. ‘That was the first time we really put our foot down and said no. I’ve never said no to our family before. I said, ‘No. We cannot do what you’re asking us to do.’ It was one of those ah-hah moments for us.”
But that’s when Jim Bob reappeared — and he had some terrible news:
“They were basically like, ‘You have to.’ Then my dad sends us the [papers we signed] and the obligations section of the contract. At first I was like, ‘Someone forged my signature,’ but then I look at it and I’m like, ‘That is my signature.’ That’s when we realized what we had signed the day before we got married. That wasn’t what I thought I was signing.'”
After they went back home in Arkansas to do the shoot, they asked Jim Bob for some compensation, as Derick said:
“If we’re giving up something then we should get something in return. Jim Bob was like, ‘What do you want? $10 an hour?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know, what’s it worth?’ And he was like, ‘What’s your price?’ He was like, ‘I can pay you $10 an hour.’ That’s when we asked to talk to TLC.”
According to Jill, her dad’s publicist Chad Gallagher said they weren’t allowed to talk to TLC without him. Eventually, after familial issues, Jim Bob allegedly offered to pay the couple a “lump sum,” but they turned it down because they’d have to sign another contract to get the money — and then they “parted ways” with the network:
“In order to receive that, you had to sign another deal with my dad and his production company, Mad Family Inc., which would last like forever. We were automatically like, we’re done.”
“We found out on social media that our relationship, if we ever had a relationship with TLC, came to an end at that time.”
We can’t say we blame them for not wanting to sign another piece of paper from Jim Bob!
Even more creepily, though, after their departure from TLC, Derick received texts from a burner phone reprimanding him for going against Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar‘s wishes. The messages, from someone claiming to be a family friend, read:
“Jim Bob or Michelle have never done you wrong nor Jill. You are returning evil for the unbelievable privilege of marrying their most beautiful and intelligent daughter, who is the fruit of their lives. You were a trusted man to be given the high privilege of courting and marrying their treasured daughter, godly, well trained, talented, capable. Never was there a girl like Jill.”
“As a son-in-law, Jill’s parents are also yours, and biblically, whatever you do to them is the same as your own parents. The mistreatment of parents is forbidden in both the Old and New Testament, with death penalties ascribed to those violations and wrong actions to parents. And the reverse promise, that things will not go well for you.”
Gross AF. She’s not their property to be traded! And “well trained”?? Barf. Seriously, stop speaking about women like they’re pets. And that second text just sounds even more culty.
When asked if these messages were from Jim Bob, Derick said:
“I don’t know, I can’t speculate.”
Some seriously messed up stuff! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for these poor kids…
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[Image via Prime Video/YouTube]