From discovering her father allegedly conned her into signing a contract to nearly dying during childbirth, here are the major revelations from the former TLC star's new memoir, out now
Jill Duggar Dillard is not holding back.
Even though Jill, 32, walked away from filming her family's reality show in 2017 to concentrate on raising her own family with her husband Derick Dillard, she still has plenty to say about the nearly ten years she was prominently featured on TLC's 19 Kids and Counting and its spinoff, Counting On.
In her debut memoir Counting the Cost, out now, Jill shares a no-holds barred look at what her life was really like behind the cameras, and the true cost that filming a reality series eventually took on her ultra-conservative Christian family.
"My father and I do not have one-on-one contact," Jill recently told PEOPLE.
In response to her claims, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar told PEOPLE in a statement: "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. We’ve aimed to deal honorably with our children, our finances, and our other endeavors. While imperfect, it is our intent and desire to live a life that honors Christ. 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. As the future unfolds, we will continue to love our family, pray for them, and enjoy every moment gifted to us to be parents and grandparents."
Read on for some of the most shocking revelations from Jill's new book.
Jill Claims Her Dad Jim Bob Duggar Tricked Her Into Signing a Contract with TLC
She's spoken about it before, but in Counting the Cost, Jill fully details her claim that her father Jim Bob allegedly had her sign a contract, obliging her to five more years of filming without explaining what it was she was signing. It was the morning of her wedding day when she says she was too busy to look closely at the paperwork.
In the book, she writes that her father dismissively said it was something about how she was going to get paid. Jill says she signed it without hesitation, given that she'd never had a reason not to "trust Pops." Later, when she refused to fly from El Salvador to Houston for a photo shoot, she was told she was "contractually obligated."
It was the first she'd learn of the contract she'd unwittingly signed, leaving her upset, confused, and immensely disturbed.
Jill Refused to Have Her Honeymoon Filmed
Jill says she stood firm when it came down to filming her honeymoon. She and Derick were adamantly opposed to having cameras there after witnessing what it looked like on screen for her brother Josh and his wife Anna.
Jill claims their honeymoon had been edited to make them look like inexperienced kids about to go "have sex for the first time." She also claims once she made it clear a camera crew couldn't tag along, production allegedly told her they would not help pay for it either.
She and Derick spent five days alone in North Carolina, away from the cameras, and neither had any regret that they chose to do it in peace.
Jill Had to Tell Producers She Was Pregnant Before She Could Tell Her Family
Jill writes that she and Derick were starting to get annoyed with the intrusiveness of filming — especially when their friends allegedly weren't allowed to take pictures at their wedding.
Things started to come to a head when they allegedly couldn't tell their friends and family about being pregnant with their first son Israel. Jill writes that they first had to tell the show's producers who had to figure out the filming schedule, and then wait a full month before they could even tell Derick's parents.
"Everyone said they were excited for us," Jill writes. "I was tempted to remind people that this was my baby we were talking about. But I didn't want to come off as crabby first time mom."
TLC declined to comment when contacted by PEOPLE.
Jill Refused to Have Her Son's Birth Filmed — Which Allegedly Got Her Into Hot Water
Jill knew for a fact she didn't want son Israel's birth filmed, which allegedly didn't sit well with her parents or the producers.
She writes about how her mom Michelle's births were show rating juggernauts, but she knew she wouldn't be able to relax in the delivery room if the cameras were also there. Jill was also disturbed that the birth was allegedly being discussed like a "meal someone was planning" in regards to the specials 19 Kids was planning around it.
After a lot of discussion, Jill finally relented and claims she told the show her mom and sister Jana could have cameras in the room and film footage, but not the official camera crews.
She writes, "If I said no [to Jana and Michelle filming], I'd have an even bigger battle on my hands."
Jill 'Wanted to Die' After the Private Report About Brother Josh Molesting Her Was Made Public
Jill writes about how sickened she was by the leak of something that she assumed would always stay private. She notes that she could barely sleep or eat in the ensuing weeks. The report also dredged up painful memories of what had happened with Josh, details which she deliberately keeps out of the book.
She says that when Derick called home to check in on her during the weeks of the release, she responded, “Terrible... I wish I were dead.”
Jill Discovered Jim Bob Had Allegedly Been Paying Josh to Be on the Show — But Not the Girls
Jill and Derick say they began questioning things whey they never saw any income from the shows. When they asked Jim Bob about payment, she claims he balked.
She writes that he told her the show was an opportunity to "share with the world that children are a blessing." When Derick insisted they deserved a portion of the income, she writes Jim Bob allegedly confessed that he used to pay Josh, but stopped because it wasn't a good idea.
Later, when she was arguing with her father over money, she claimed she yelled at him, "You treat me worse than you treat my pedophile brother!"
Jim Bob Allegedly Offered Each Child a One-Time Payment of $80K, Despite Making $8 Million
After Jill and Derick began asking about being compensated, she claims Jim Bob and Michelle sat their older kids down and gave them a one-time offer of $80,000 each to "start their lives."
While the rest of her siblings were elated, Jill says she and Derick were not, and eventually decided not to sign the paperwork in exchange for the check. Untrusting of her father at this point, she says she and Derick were convinced there were some ulterior motives — and that there was probably a lot more money than that to offer. (They later discovered that "Mad Family Inc." had made roughly $8 million.)
Jill — who was eventually paid $175,000 by Jim Bob — writes, "After all, thirteen years as a filming family had taught me that everything has a cost. Plus, Pops’ lifestyle alone told us that the show had generated a lot more than the equivalent of eighty thousand dollars each."
Jill Says She Nearly Died Giving Birth to Son Samuel
The birth of Jill and Derick's second son Samuel was far more complicated than she ever let on.
She writes that she had a uterine rupture, and after she woke up four hours after her emergency C-Section, Derick told here there had been a hole in her uterus as big as his fist and she'd had to have a blood transfusion or she could have died. (She adds that the doctors were able to save her uterus.)
Baby Samuel also ended up in the NICU because he'd been unresponsive at birth, and the doctors warned her that it was possible he'd end up with brain damage because a scan had revealed bleeding on his brain. Jill and Derick didn't learn if Sam had brain damage until he was several months old; luckily the brain bleed had healed itself.
Jill Claims Jim Bob Threatened to Lower Her Inheritance
After Jill and Derick got a tax bill saying they owed money on $130,000 of earnings — money they allege they had never seen — they wrote a letter to Jim Bob asking that they receive that same amount that the government claimed they'd earned.
Instead of complying, Jim Bob allegedly got angry and offered to write them a much smaller check for $20,000. She claims he warned her that if she "continued to attack" he and Michelle, he would significantly lower the inheritance she was set to receive when they died, which was 1/19th of everything the family had earned.
Jill says her father also said: "$20,000 is a one-time offer, take it or leave it, please let me know by Monday night, or the amount will be zero."
Jill Sends Her Kids to Public School and Goes to Therapy
Despite writing about the myriad of ways that filming allegedly fractured her family, Jill says she's found happiness at 32.
She and Derick have three sons — two of whom go to public school. She's making mom friends, has taken up gardening, wears pants, has a nose ring, and she and Derick enjoy watching Netflix at night like most couples. She's also an advocate for therapy, despite being told growing up that therapy was "just a friend that you paid."
"I tell all my friends to do it," she recently told PEOPLE.
Jill still doesn't see her father one-on-one, and isn't sure if she ever will have a normal relationship with him again. She also says she still grapples with trust issues, since she spent so much of her life wondering if the people she met were just trying to sell her stories to the tabloids. But she's glad for the opportunity to tell her side of her life story, and hopes it inspires others to use their voice.
"I feel called to this," she said.
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Jill and Derick's memoir, Counting the Cost, is available wherever books are sold.
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