reality tv

Jill Duggar wrote a book exposing her family. Now she’s threatening to take a protective order against her dad.

Content warning: This story includes descriptions of sexual assault that may be distressing to some readers.

The Duggar family lore keeps getting messier. 

Since Jim Bob and Michelle launched their then-17 children onto our TVs back in 2008, with 17 Kids and Counting, the Duggars have been plagued by controversy. 

And in a new interview, Jill Duggar revealed she has threatened her father Jim Bob with a protective order while also sharing an update about where he stands with her husband, Derick Dillard.

"It used to be really great," the 32-year-old reality star shared about her husband's relationship with her father on Christy Carlson Romano's Vulnerable podcast. "I think Derick trusted my dad and my dad trusted him."

Things changed when "they started having some differences" and they weren't "falling in line with everything," she explained. It got to the point, Jill says, where her husband and father had some "really hard conversations".

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard. Image: Prime Video.


While the Duggar family dynamic has always been complex, with Jim Bob as the patriarch of their (now) 19-children household, Jill clarified his position was threatened when Derick stood up to her father.

According to the reality star, her husband wasn't happy with the way Jim Bob treated her.

"I think my dad got the picture when Derick was telling him, basically like, if you keep contacting her directly, then I will have to file a protective order," she recalled, adding that her husband is an attorney. 

Their relationship is still rocky with Jim Bob but Jill said she hopes that "things can get better."

"But we’re not rushing things either with my family. We want to have good relationships. We want there to be better trust," she added.

However, the reality star maintains some distance between her family which includes her father, her mother Michelle Duggar and some of their siblings. 

"It’s not that you don’t care, but you have to set some boundaries, do what’s good in the moment." she said. "When you are stronger, when you are healthier, when you get to a place where you’re able to do what you need to do, then maybe you can talk about putting yourself back in a situation like that with healthier boundaries occasionally."


It's the first time Jill has spoken up since the Prime Video documentary that aired in June Shiny Happy People: The Duggar Family Secrets, and her September memoir  Counting the Cost.

In it, she said, "There’s a story that’s going to be told and I’d rather be the one telling it."

The docuseries went beyond unveiling more of the evangelical mega-family’s chequered past and delved into the radical religious organisation the family follows, the Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP). 

Image: Getty.


In September, Derick revealed his own feelings toward his father-in-law and claimed Jim Bob had “control” over the Duggar family.

"I think what’s sad is that the pattern we’ve seen is kinda happening to us, where if you’re somebody that he can’t control then you’re cut off," he told Entertainment Tonight"It’s like, 'I can’t control you, so you’re cut off.'"

In December 2021, 35-year-old Josh Duggar was found guilty of knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography, while he’d earlier admitted to molesting four girls when he was between 12 and 15. Two of his victims came forward. They were his sisters, Jill and Jessa. 

When the molestation reports first surfaced in 2015, TLC cancelled 19 Kids and Counting but later went on to give the troubled family a new series, Counting On

In her memoir, Jill was careful when reflecting on her traumatic experience of abuse as a child. In fact, she only covered the basics and wrote that she was horrified when the report about her brother molesting her was made public.

"That was one subject in the book that I was very. very careful about bringing up, and not wanting to go delve deeper into it," she told the publication"Because it is a very traumatic time in my life and one that I talk about as just feeling humiliated in front of everybody."

In her memoir, said she could barely eat or sleep in the weeks following and recalled telling her husband she was "terrible... I wish I were dead".


Derick believes the reports should have been destroyed. 

"I think the world did not have to find out about it," Derick said of the leak. "I think what is important is that, once that happened, the judge [should have] had that destroyed. Like, that should never have happened."

Now, Jill and Derick share three sons together; Israel, 8, Samuel, 6 and Freddy, 16 months. She admits she worked hard to untangle herself from the beliefs of her family and childhood.

In her memoir, Jill shared she has taken up gardening, wears pants and has a nose ring —  and when her father saw images of her like this, he texted her Bible verses to signal his disapproval.

For a time, she was barred from visiting the family home and during one particularly intense mediation session, she recalled yelling, "You treat me worse than you treat my pedophile brother".

"He hated the hunk of metal in my nose. He despised how I was dressing in ways that put sexual thoughts in guys’ minds," she wrote. "Instead of his Sweet Jilly Muffin, I was now a threat to the rest of his children, and a threat to his authority."

Jill has since become a big advocate for therapy and said she is glad to have the opportunity through her book to tell her side of the story.

This article was originally published on May 19, 2023 and has since been updated with new information.

Images: Prime Video.