Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar break their silence on the new docuseries that digs into their lives and beliefs.
The couple – made famous for their TLC reality shows and subsequent scandals involving eldest son Josh, who is serving 12 years in prison on child porn charges – are calling Prime Videos Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, which they did not participate in, “derogatory and sensational.” Among the doc claims are that the 19 kids and counting parents covered up that Josh molested five girls, four of whom were their daughters, when he was a teenager and failed to get him treated. Their daughter Jill Duggar Dillard, one of the victims, participated in the doctor, saying her parents pressured her to defend Josh when the allegations surfaced.
“The recent ‘documentary’ that talks about our family is sad because it shows us how the media and people with bad intentions are hurting people we love,” the couple said in a statement on their website on Friday. “Like other families, ours too has experienced the joys and heartbreaks of life, only in a very public form. This ‘documentary’ paints so much and so much in a derogatory and sensational way, because unfortunately that’s the direction of life these days. entertainment.”
The statement continued: “We have always believed that the best chance to mend damaged relationships, or to reconcile differences, is through love in a private setting. We love every member of our family and will continue to do everything we can to to have a good life.” relationship with everyone. Through both the triumphs and the trials, we have clung all the more to our faith and found that through the love and grace of Jesus we find strength, comfort, and purpose.”
Amy Duggar King, who also speaks out against her family in the doctor’s office, denounced her aunt and uncle’s statement.
“News flash: If you had given Josh the real, real help he needed a long time ago — real therapy — we wouldn’t be in this mess,” Amy said in an Instagram video. “Those pretty girls wouldn’t have much to heal from. You are not a victim here. Stop playing the victim.”
Amy also disagreed with Jim Bob and Michelle saying they prefer to “reconcile differences in private” writing, “Has anyone noticed what seems to me… gaslighting? The ‘private settings’ are true we’re talking about!”
The four-part doc looks at how the ministry the family has long followed and touted in their shows, Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), teaches that women should be obedient to their husbands and that children are taught to follow patriarchal norms and not to ask questions. The teachings include that when bad things happen, members should pray to put it behind them or ignore it instead of talking about it, ex-IBLP members claimed.
The Doctor looks at how that doctrine was at play around the sexual assault allegations against Josh, but also how it also cultivated a toxic environment within the IBLP ministry. Bill Gothard, who founded IBLP and promoted “male superiority and female obedience,” was accused of sexual harassment and molestation by more than 30 women, including some minors, leading him to resign in 2014. The doctor watches Josh go to an IBLP facility in 2003 when his parents found out he had been abusing girls. There he did not receive mental health therapy, but did manual labor. Jim Bob picked him up early.
On Friday, Jill also posted a video to Instagram following Jim Bob and Michelle’s statement of them bashing the doctor. In it, she thanked fans for supporting her statement. She encouraged them to order her forthcoming book, Counting the costs, co-written by her husband Derick Dillard.
“I know it’s going to be hard,” Jill said of the book’s release, “but I pray it helps other people have a voice too, so they might realize they’re not alone.”
The costs countannounced earlier this week, will detail the “greed, manipulation and betrayal” as well as “secrecy and lies” they faced, the couple promised.
Jill – the fourth Duggar child – waded in there in the Doctor. She claimed she was forced to do the 2015 Megyn Kelly interview to defend Josh after his sexual assault allegations were made public. She said she didn’t make a dime from the reality shows, which ran from 2008 to 2020, even as an adult in her own spin-off. Count on, at one point she had to go to a food bank to feed her family. She also claimed that she did not wa
nt to film the birth of her first child Count on, but was told she had to.
Jim Bob’s sister, Deanna, also appeared in the document, as well as Jim Bob and Michelle’s former best friends, Jim and Bobye Holt, who spoke about the pair covering up Josh’s abuse as a child.
Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family executive producer Blye Pagon Faus previously told Yahoo she hopes Jim Bob and Michelle watch the docuseries “and maybe there’s some kind of reflection and changes.”
The docuseries is part of a long-running unraveling of the TV family, whose conservative beliefs and lifestyle have been central to their shows. 19 kids and counting was canceled in 2015 after Josh’s abuse allegations first surfaced. Spin off Count on was suspended in 2021 after Josh – now a father of 7 himself – was arrested on “worst of the worst” child pornography allegations. Earlier this year, Jinger Duggar Vuolo — the sixth Duggar — released a book about her upbringing in the cult-like ministry and spoke of how “fear was a big part of my childhood.”