Jill Duggar Calls Out Dad Jim Bob for Allegedly Treating Her Worse Than “Pedophile Brother” Josh Duggar

Jill Duggar accused dad Jim Bob Duggar of treating her "worse" than her brother Josh Duggar, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence for child pornography charges.

By Lindsay Weinberg Sep 12, 2023 2:34 PMTags
Watch: Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar SLAM Duggar Family Secrets Docuseries

Content warning: This story discusses child pornography and molestation.

Jill Duggar is calling out a double standard in her family.

The 19 Kids and Counting alum accused her dad Jim Bob Duggar of favoring her brother Josh Duggar, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for receipt and possession child sex abuse images last year.

Jill—who left the show in 2017 and distanced herself from her religious family—recently told her dad during a family meeting, "You treat me like I'm a prodigal who's turned her back on you. You treat me worse than you treat my pedophile brother," according to an excerpt from her upcoming book Counting the Cost published by People Sept. 9.

In the excerpt, the 32-year-old detailed a candid conversation she and her husband Derick Dillard had with her dad and mom Michelle Duggar about their strained relationship. 

According to Jill, she tried to explain to Jim Bob during the discussion, which was overseen by a mediator, that she never meant to hurt him, but her dad "had his own list of things he wanted to talk about."

"'You sent me a text message, Jill,'" she recalled her father sternly telling her. "'You said I was verbally abusing you. I was so offended by that, too. You know in your heart that's not right. Are you going to apologize for that?'"

Every Bombshell From Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets

Feeling nervous over the confrontation, Jill wrote, "I remembered the message, remembered sending it in the hope that it might wake Pops up to how bad I felt things had gotten, to maybe make him give us a little space and let things calm down. I'd written about not wanting to be verbally abused, which was exactly how I'd felt at the time. I'd felt it in El Salvador as well. I wasn't sure that I could apologize for that. I glanced at Derick as I remained speechless." 

She said Jim Bob, 58, was shocked she didn't apologize. 


"His voice was loud, and there was an edge to it that I'd rarely heard," Jill continued in part. "Pops took a step toward me, closing the gap. It wasn't a gesture of reconciliation. It was an act of aggression."

Jill said her eyes filled with tears and she alleged that Jim Bob told her, "'You know why you're crying, don't you? Your conscience is talking to you. That's why.'" 

"Pops' voice was so loud in my ears. His words were like blows," the TLC star continued. "I instinctively tried to protect myself and block him out."

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Jill then brought up a young female fan who had approached Jim Bob before the meeting to ask for a video together, according to People

"'You want to know why I'm crying?' My voice was cracked, my eyes burning," she remembered of her conversation with her father. "'It's that you think I'm some kind of horrible person just because I wear pants and have a nose ring, and yet you see that girl outside and praise her. That's why I'm crying, Daddy. I'm evolving and changing, just like that girl out there, but you can't see it. You treat me like I'm a prodigal who's turned her back on you. You treat me worse than you treat my pedophile brother.'"


E! News has reached out to Jill, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar for comment but hasn't heard back.

In response to Jill's book, Jim Bob and Michelle released a statement to People, saying that prefer to handle disagreements in private.

"We love all of our children very much. As with any family, few things are more painful than conflicts or problems among those you love," they said. "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."

Josh's history of inappropriate behavior surfaced in 2015, when an unearthed police report revealed he had molested underage girls as a teenager.

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret," Josh, then 27, said in a statement to People. "I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation."

He said he confessed his "wrongdoing" to authorities and his parents arranged for him to attend counseling, noting, "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."

Washington County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

At the time, Jill and sister Jessa Duggar came forward publicly as two of the girls Josh had inappropriately touched.  

However, Jill said in the 2023 documentary Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets that "in hindsight," she regrets speaking out about his molestation. 

"As far as recovery and damage control, you just feel like the burden and the weight falls on you to, like, help—'cause you're the only one who can," she said, later adding, "If I hadn't felt obligated to, one, do it for the sake of the show, and two, do it for the sake of my parents, I wouldn't have done it."

The former reality star—who now shares sons Israel, 8, Samuel, 6, and Frederick, 14 months, with Derick—is preparing to tell her side of the story in her book Counting the Cost, out Sept. 12. 

Get a glimpse inside her family life with Derick in photos here:

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

The Dillards' family Christmas photo in 2019 featured Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard with their sons Israel, then 4, and Samuel, then 2.

Spooky Season

Derick took a break from his law studies in order to get in "some family time at the pumpkin patch" before Halloween, he wrote on Instagram in 2020.

Holly Jolly

They gave a glimpse into their Christmas decor in December 2020.

Family Vacay

The pair took a family vacation to Seaside, Ore. in August 2021, with Derick captioning this photo, "Glad to have some time to get away from some of the more stressful things of life lately!"

4th of July

The Dillards celebrated Independence Day on July 4, 2021.

All Hands on Deck

Derick brought his sons to work, writing, "Just another day of Clinic work with my law partners."

Rocking Out

The couple enjoyed a bluegrass and barbecue festival—not to mention a funnel cake treat—at Silver Dollar City theme park in Missouri in May 2022 while expecting their third son.

Reading Lesson

Jill and son Samuel attended story time at the local library in December 2021.

Baby No. 3

They announced the arrival of Frederick Michael Dillard in July 2022.

Graduating to Big Brothers

Jill captioned her sons' photo shoot, "We are all in love with our newest little boy in the tribe!"

Baby Snuggles

"Though the days are long sometimes, I know the years are short," Jill wrote alongside this photo with her baby Freddy in November 2022. "I cherish these moments holding my little ones & I pray God will help me to be the mama they need me to be."

Bonding Time With the Newborn

Derick spent some quality time with son Freddy, who was just 4 weeks in the pic.

"Papa's Home"

Jill shared the sweet photo in December 2022. "My world!" she wrote. "And @derickdillard is everybody's fave Love you babe."

Little Chef

Jill celebrated her son Israel's 8th birthday in April 2023. 

"I can't believe he's already 8 years old and doing 'big boy' things!" the TLC star shared. "Last night I asked him if he wanted to try his hand at making dinner for the whole family and naturally he chose his favorite, which has recently come to be known in our house as 'Israel's Favorite Soup.'"

A Bunny for Her Birthday

Derick wished his wife a happy 32nd birthday in May 2023. "Life with you is fun! I'm thankful every day for you, and I love you to the moon and back!" the attorney said. "P.S. One of these years I'll remember to get you 3 bunnies named Nibbles, Fluffy, and Edna for your birthday, like you've always wanted." 

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