'Counting On': Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s Controversial Way of Life
Jill Duggar rose to fame through her family's reality shows, "19 Kids and Counting," and "Counting On." She is married to Derick Dillard.
The couple has made headlines in the past for various reasons. They are often attacked on social media, not only by critics but by fans of the Duggar family too.
Jill and Derick's life has been marred by controversy – they are accused of everything from breaking the "Duggar Code," to conning donators out of money.
JILL DUGGAR AND DERICK'S DILLARD'S HISTORY
Duggar and Dillard tied the knot on June 21, 2014, after three years of courtship. They shared their first kiss on their wedding day.
Dillard met Duggar in 2011 when Dillard stopped by Duggar's home while caroling with a church group. They don't recall much from their first meeting. Duggar explains:
"Neither of us remembers each other specifically from that time; all I have is a vague memory of the group of people who came. Not long after this, Derick contacted my dad and asked if he would be a prayer partner during his two-year term in Nepal."
The pair reunited in 2012 while Dillard was doing humanitarian work in Nepal. He worked closely with Duggar's father, Jim Bob, at the time.
Duggar met up with Dillard in Nepal the following year. Dillard wrote on their website that he "was excited and prayed that God would give clear direction" about the way forward.
It has long been believed that the Dillards are financially supported by other members of the Duggar family, as well as church members.
Most of the Duggars made their money throw their reality shows. For example, Anna and Josh Duggar are said to be worth about $200,000.
The couple maintains that they stick to a tight budget and keep their finances in check. However, they were under fire for a crowdfunding campaign that turned sour.
The Dillards were accused of scamming fans for money after they asked for donations to support their missionary works.
It was later revealed that they weren't licensed missionaries and that their church is not sponsoring them to do God's work.
MISUSING THEIR FUNDS
They were further accused of misusing the funds they received. The couple was spotted traveling with their son when they claimed the money would be used for a missionary trip to Central America.
At the time, Duggar was sharing snapshots on Instagram, showing the couple spending time with family and friends, nowhere near Central America.
They also received money to travel to Jill's sister Amy's wedding. At the time, the couple said those trips were planned in advance, but they gave a clear answer about what they did with the donations.
BREAKING THE DUGGAR CODE
At the other end of the spectrum, fans of the Duggar family were accusing Jill of breaking the "Duggar Code," and not leading a life guided by biblical principals.
The Duggars, who are Christian fundamentalists, believe that the men are the head of the household and that women should obey their every command.
However, Jill appears to be the breadwinner in the Dillard family, which goes against their religious beliefs. None of the other Duggar women can provide for themselves.
They haven't attended college, and most of them marry young. Jill's eldest sister, the 29-year-old Jana, still lives with her parents and doesn't have a job.
In Jill's case, however, Derick is studying law full-time, which means that he doesn't have time to hold down a job.
Jill supports the family by frequently advertising products on her social media accounts, especially Instagram.
Also, the couple's blog is quite popular. If the site is set up for monetization, Jill be will able to make a few bucks from the comfort of her living room.
Derick also often finds himself in the middle of a media storm over the insensitive remarks he posts on Twitter and social media.
Back in February, he alluded that Planned Parenthood was a hate group. He tweeted a list of hate groups and asked why Planned Parenthood didn't make the list.
And a year ago, Derick came under fire for tweeting transphobic remarks and attacking transgender teen and reality star Jazz Jennings on social media. He tweeted:
"What an oxymoron. A 'reality' show which follows a non-reality. 'Transgender' is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God."
Derick said Jennings's reality show was a "non-reality show," and refused to respect Jennings's preferred pronouns.
Jennings uses the pronouns she and her, but Derick purposefully referred to Jennings as "he" and "him." Three months later, he tweeted:
"I pity Jazz, four those who take advantage of him in order 2 promote their agenda, including the parents who allow these kinds of decisions 2 be made by a child."
I pity Jazz, 4 those who take advantage of him in order 2 promote their agenda, including the parents who allow these kinds of decisions 2 be made by a child. It’s sad that ppl would use a juvenile this way. Again, nothing against him, just unfortunate what’s on tv these days.— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) November 9, 2017
TLC, the network which hosts both Jennings's show and the Duggars' "Counting On," canceled Derick contract with immediate effect, and Jill quit in solidarity with her husband.
A RETURN TO REALITY TV
That said, TV Showcase reported that Jill would be returning to "Counting On," without Derick. Jill can also be seen in her sister Jessa's birth special, "A Baby Girl for Jessa."
While Jill will appear in upcoming episodes of "Counting On," it's safe to assume that Derick won't be allowed back in front of the cameras any time soon.
It's not yet clear whether Jill's return to "Counting On" is permanent, or merely a one-time appearance.