Jill, 32, claimed in a recent interview with Today.com that her father, 58, sent a serious message to his sons and daughters after Jill’s book was announced earlier this year. “My dad texted the entire family group text … and he was just saying, ‘This is so sad,'” she recalled.
According to Jill, who is still in the family text chain despite their ups and downs, Jim Bob was “basically threatening that if anybody speaks out against him or my mom that they would be cut out of the inheritance.”
Jim Bob further suggested to his children that they “owe” everything to Bill Gothard, who founded the Institute in Basic Life Principles, the controversial and ultra-conservative Christian organization that counts the Duggar family as devout followers.
Fans met Jim Bob and wife Michelle Duggar in 2008 when the family’s reality series 19 Kids and Counting debuted on TLC. The show was canceled in 2015 after Josh Duggar, the couple’s eldest son, was accused of molesting several girls when he was a teenager. Jill was later identified as one of the victims.
Despite the show’s cancellation, Jill and some of her siblings were featured on a spinoff titled Counting On. She and her husband, Derick Dillard, announced in 2017 that they were exiting the series. Three years later, Jill claimed in a YouTube Q&A that she “hadn’t been paid for anything” she did on camera.
In her new memoir, Jill further described her and Dillard’s fight for payment. She recalled her husband approaching Jim Bob about potentially earning a small percentage of profits made from the reality show, but Jim Bob allegedly said it “wasn’t a very good idea.”
The couple’s financial burdens got even heavier after they left Counting On, but they eventually received $175,000 when their dispute with Jim Bob was “finally resolved.” Jill wrote, “I never knew that victory could feel so hollow or so overwhelmingly sad.”
Before the book hit shelves, Jim Bob and Michelle issued a statement addressing some of Jill’s claims. “We love all of our children very much,” they noted earlier this month. “As with any family, few things are more painful than conflicts or problems among those you love. … We do not believe the best way to resolve conflicts, facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation, or to communicate through difficulties is through the media or in a public forum so we will not comment.”