Unsealed court documents reveal where Jill Dillard stands with her father, Jim Bob Duggar, where she reportedly described him as “controlling” and “verbally abusive.”
The popular Duggar sister said that her relationship with the patriarch of the "19 Kids and Counting" clan is “pretty toxic.” Dillard’s comments were disclosed in court documents this week with her deposition. The findings were reported by The Sun.
The Christian Post reached out to the Duggar family for comment. A response is pending.
Dillard is the fourth from the oldest Duggar child and noted that her relationship had been strained with her father, who raised his children in a strict conservative Christian upbringing.
The family is known for its "modest" dress code and strict rules about dating. But since her marriage to Derrick Dillard in 2014, Dillard now wears pants, admitted to drinking socially and pierced her nose. She has been outspoken about the family rift.
“I saw a whole new side to my dad once my husband and I started making decisions that were best for our family, but not in his best interest,” she was quoted as saying in a preliminary psychological opinion by Robert Wynne, The Sun reports.
Dillard said she went to therapy because of the fallout with her family.
“Sadly, I realized he had become pretty controlling, fearful, and reactionary. He was verbally abusive. Our relationship is not good. It got pretty toxic,” she added.
"We occasionally text on a family group thread, but I don’t feel comfortable being around him and just hanging out. It isn’t good for my mental health right now.”
The documents come from a 2017 lawsuit that the Duggar sisters — Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna — filed against officials with the Springdale Police Department and Washington County for releasing private documents in 2015 concerning claims they made as minors against their brother, who had been investigated for child molestation accusations.
In December, Josh Duggar was found guilty by a federal jury in Arkansas of receiving and possessing child pornography and could face up to 20 years in prison. He allegedly had over 200 images of child porn on his electronic devices of children “ranging from about 18 months of age to 12 years of age.”
In their separate lawsuit against authorities, the sisters argued that when they spoke to investigators in 2006 about the molestations, they were assured their statements were legally protected and would only be shared with police and child protective services officials because they were minors.
As a result of the document leak, the Duggars’ lawsuit argued that In Touch magazine produced eight articles that revealed personal information about the sisters despite a state law barring the disclosure of information related to sexual misconduct involving children.
But in February, a judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Duggar sisters stating that the reality TV stars failed to prove that police acted with bad intentions by leaking a report that allowed the sisters to be identified by media as having been molested by their older brother.
Now the court documents have been unsealed. Dillard's comments about her parents came about because the defendants claimed that the sisters' “allegation of emotional distress opens the door to inquiries into their lives, including their relationship with the parents.”
It was revealed that the mom of two with one on the way attended couple's counseling with her husband to help solve the “issues” with her family and the “lack of boundaries.”
“My husband and I have had to create some pretty strict boundaries right now to protect our sanity," Dillard is quoted as saying, according to The Sun.
“We pretty much only see him right now at weddings and funerals. I think sometimes, he wishes we would just ‘get over it’ and go back to how things used to be … doing things his way.”
Despite the strain on the relationship, Dillard “longs” to restore her relationship with her dad.
The Dillards suffered a devastating loss last fall due to the miscarriage of their baby they named River Bliss.
“We have prayed that, if it was God’s will, He would bless us with another baby," they said in a February testimony.
“We are excited to announce that God has answered our prayers and we are expecting our rainbow baby due July 2022! We are so thankful for a healthy baby and pregnancy so far and we look forward to finding out the gender soon!"
Dillard was a main figure in her family’s popular TLC series, “19 Kids and Counting,” which followed her Christian parents. After seven years on air, she starred in the spinoff series "Counting On" with her sisters. She quit the show in 2017.