Jill Duggar Dillard is well known to viewers of the US TV show, Counting On. She grew up in the conservative, religious environment of her parents, Michelle and Jim Bob. Her father introduced her to Derick Dillard and the couple fell in love. They married in June 2014.
Jill’s marriage has not been without its controversy. The Duggar family has been the subject of many scandals and gossip over the past five years. Derick and Jill have provided their fair share of fodder for this. However, Jill seems to be totally devoted to Derick. Her upbringing taught her to be more submissive to a man than a conventional marriage.
10. Scamming fans to donate money for a mission trip using GoFundMe
Derick decided to post a fund-raising account online the day after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. He closed the site down after it was suggested that he was ffundraisingfor himself and not for victims of the hurricane. Derick was rumoured to be unemployed at the time and living off the profits of his wife’s media work.
Derick and Jill also asked for money to fund their missionary work to El Salvador. However, there were sceptics who pointed out that the family returned to the US several times during their time in Central America. They wondered if fans’ money was being used for these airfares to attend family functions. Many of Jill and Derick’s followers are from low income families who genuinely believed their money was going to fund God’s work. He had to offer refunds on the page after the furore. Further doubt was cast over the validity of their motives when it was discovered that the length of their trip was much shorter than expected. They had said they were going to El Salvador for a ‘long term’ project, but only managed two months according to the The Daily Mail.
9. Her husband is openly homophobic and got fired from their show
Derick openly criticised a transgender member of a reality show, Jazz Jennings. This apparently got him fired from the Duggars’ reality show, Counting On, although he claims that he left of his own accord. Jill apparently left the show too out of loyalty to Derick but it is not clear if she shares his views.
He criticised two interior designers who are gay, Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent especially as they are gay and have two children, which Derick fervently disagrees with. Derick found it objectionable that the show portrayed a gay couple in a family as ‘normal’, according to Metro Weekly. Derick claimed it was deplorable that the country had become so liberal that it promoted this as an acceptable view of an American family. These comments caused a barrage of criticism towards Derick, and TLC, the channel that produces Counting On and other Duggar based programmes, removed him from the show in a protest about his anti-gay views. Some commentators believe that Derick imposed his views in such a public way again, in order to draw attention to himself and to keep him and Jill in the spotlight.
8. What missionary work did they actually do in central America?
Jill and Derick took young Israel to El Salvador to join other Evangelical Christians to perform some missionary work as volunteers of the SOS Foundation. They stayed at a spartan mission settlement called El Esperanza. They went completely quiet on social media for a long stretch of their stay, leading fans to wonder what they were actually doing. The only pictures we saw were posted by other members of the team they went to join. This team, returned home a month into the Dillards’ stay, leading to more questions. Having set up the Dillard Family Ministries as a means of funding their expedition, donations had funded their trip.
The couple had declared they were leaving Arkansas for a long term missionary project in El Salvador in Central America. After surviving just two months, speculation gathered as to why they had come home so soon. Apparently, they lacked the experience and qualfications needed for long term missionary work, a fact they surely should have known before they embarked on the trip. It’s true that they encountered many dangers in the region. There is a violent gang culture in El Salvador that must have been a concern for a young family.
7. Is Derick healthy?
Speculation about Derick’s health ranged from anorexia to having to consume a liquid diet after dental surgery according to The Hollywood Gossip. It is true that he had some dental issues and this could have stopped him from eating as much, but his gaunt, pale appearance drew many concerned comments. Of course, it could just be the stress of life in the press that caused Derick’s unhealthy appearance.
Jill did share that whilst in El Salvador, Derick had nearly been hit by lightning, but this did not dispel rumours about why he looked so unwell, sometime after the event. After their return, there was an episode of the Duggar TV show, on which Derick appeared briefly. He made some mention of going to visit the doctor to see what was causing his recent illness. He was later seen rushing away from a family group before throwing up by the side of the road. Derick did lose a great deal of weight during his trip to El Salvador. Jill made some general comments about eating different food and living in a foreign environment. She pointed out that many travellers pick up bugs but went no further than that.
6. Is Derick cheating on her
Derick went through a phase of posting biblical quotes on social media about not giving in to lustful thoughts, and this prompted some followers to worry if he was trying to tell the world that he had cheated on Jill. Jill responded to the rumours by posting loving pictures and messages dedicated to her husband on social media, but the gossip did not die down, with many people very confused as to why Derick would make such public comments about lust if he had not succumbed himself.
According to the Duggars’ beliefs, a wife should have sex when a husband demands it and if they refuse it’s no wonder they go elsewhere reported Celebrity Insider. However, the Duggar family beliefs are strongly against adultery, as was confirmed when Josh Duggar confessed to cheating on his wife. They described themselves as heartbroken at the admission and reiterated their intention to pray for their son and for the Lord to set him straight. There was no question of divorce for Josh and his wife, Anna. In fact, there were suggestions among the Duggar community that Anna should have done more to help Josh with his addictions.
5. Was Jill pregnant when she got married
Jill announced her pregnancy soon after her marriage. It is well known that the Duggars shun birth control, so most Duggar women give birth in the first year of marriage. However, keen followers of the Duggars noticed that Jill posted a picture of herself with her baby bump, stating that she was thirteen weeks and one day pregnant. This would equate to ninety-three days, and she married ninety days previously.
It could also be simply the result of the bizarre world of pregnancy dating, whereby a woman’s pregnancy is said to start from the first day of her cycle, when she technically wouldn’t yet be pregnant. Conception occurs at ovulation, which is generally mid cycle. So, although a woman’s pregnancy is considered to be on the first day of her cycle, this is a practical solution to help doctors to estimate a due date, rather than a confirmation of a date of conception. According to Duggar beliefs, there should be no physical contact between couples before marriage. This has not stopped commentators from speculating about almost all the Duggar girls and whether or not they broke this rule and had sex before marriage.
4. Her son’s illness when he was born
Jill has had two very hard labours. With Israel, it took seventy hours for him to be born, and baby Samuel was born by caesarean section after a forty-hour labour. There have been concerns that Jill stayed at home too long before going into the hospital to deliver Sam and this caused some problems for the baby. It took seventeen days to release pictures and news about Sam, and he needed intensive care. Recently released pictures show him in the unit with an oxygen tube and a feeding tube. The family has never revealed the reasons for this or given any information about why they kept quiet about his early days.
The lack of pictures of second son Sam on social media has led to suggestions that Jill might be hiding a serious health problem according to Celebrity Insider. Jill made some cryptic comments about trusting God when things are going badly, which fuelled speculation that she was referring to her baby or even to herself, after a difficult birth and a stint for Samuel in intensive care. When pictures do emerge of the baby, fans are keen to scrutinize him for a genetic disorder, but Jill has remained silent on the issue.
3. Are they ostracised by the Duggar family
After the furor over Derick’s anti-gay comments and his and Jill’s departure from their TV career, viewers have noticed that the family rarely gets a mention on TV, even the children. Derick has even said that Michelle and Jim Bob haven’t shown much love towards their youngest, Sam. When the Duggar family did actually post a message to say they loved the boy, Derick replied with two question marks. When Jinger announced her pregnancy, the family joined together on a video message to congratulate the couple. Jill and Derick were missing and sent a separate message, adding fuel to the feud rumors.
Similarly, when the family gathered to celebrate Joy-Ann’s pregnancy announcement, Jill and Derick were missing and not even mentioned. There was speculation that they had gone away again to do missionary work. Apparently, several Duggar family members have unfollowed Jill on her social media pages, again fuelling rumors of a family rift. Fans believe that the Duggar family want to distance themselves from Derick after his anti-gay comments caused him to be fired from the Counting On TV show. Whilst they may agree with some of his sentiments they do not want to be associated with the negative publicity he is surrounded by.
2. What is her profession? Is she actually a midwife?
Most of the Duggar women don’t have any paid work. Jill has bucked this trend by training as what she describes as a midwife. She has certainly attended births and received some form of qualification, but it was called a Certified Professional Midwife. This award does not meet international standards for midwifery and is not rrecognizedas an adequate basis to act as a midwife in many countries. Midwives usually require a Bachelor of Arts degree and three years of experience, which Jill does not have. Jill’s training for her profession was documented on Counting On and she was said to have gained 3,000 hours of midwifery experience.
It seems that Jill is more of an assistant at births, having completed the CPM training by distance learning and stints of practical experience. Jill started her own company of midwifery called Labor Sit even though she has said that she prefers to be on the sidelines. This is completely contrary to her family’s ATI rules about women working. They are not to work outside the home, regardless of their financial situation, according to a fellow member of the Duggar church. With Derick fired from TCL, Jill maybe needed to get out to work.
1. Her husband complaining that birth bills weren’t paid by the TV network
Derick admitted that he and his wife had not been paid for their appearances on Counting On and that the work was considered ‘voluntary’ according to the Daily Mail. He claims that when he asked if the TV network, TLC, would help pay some hospital bills when their baby son was in intensive care, they had refused. Derick was furious by this refusal, saying privately that after all the TV coverage the family gave to the network, it was the least they could do.
Derick was later forced to delete his messages of outrage. The network replied to make clear their payment structure. Apparently, the stars of the Counting On shows received about ten percent of the budget of the show, which was typically $250,000 to $400,000, meaning the Duggars received $25,000 to $40,000. Derick claims he and Jill have not received anything, that all the money goes to Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar. However, network insiders disputed this and said that as the popularity of the show has grown, those paychecks may have risen as well. Fans complained that Derick was being money hungry. If the couple was paid for the show, they found it in bad taste that Derick complained about not getting extra money for a specific episode.