The Duggar family let the entire world into their lives and made everyone feel like a member of their family. Some fans feel like they know everything about the Duggars. However, those fans might be surprised to know that the Duggar family kept some secrets hidden deep away. Now some of the secrets have been exposed. The reality series 19 Kids and Counting, aired for 10 seasons from September 29, 2008 to May 19, 2015. It revolved around devout Baptists Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as they raised their large family. The family found themselves embroiled in controversy, which resulted in the cancellation of the series. A spin-off series, Counting On, began airing in 2015 and recently completed its 6th season.
Behind the scenes of the series is just as good as the series itself. The controversial family has managed to keep some secrets away from the public but they’re slowly coming out. Some of these behind-the-scenes secrets were so devastating that it brought the series down. Here is a look at 15 behind-the-scenes secrets you didn’t know about 19 Kids and Counting.
15 Josh Duggar’s Affairs
The eldest child, Josh Duggar, is at the center of the family’s controversy. His admission of m*lestation of underage girls nearly destroyed the family. He later admitted to also cheating on his wife, Anna Duggar, with several women. He had fake social media accounts that he used to meet women and carry on affairs. He even used the pic of Goldman Sachs CEO’s son, Jonathan Blankfein, instead of his own. In 2015, the clandestine site for married people looking for an affair, Ashley Madison, was hacked and exposed a long list of cheaters. Among those that were on the site included Josh Duggar. Not only was Josh on the site but he also had two paid accounts. Josh had numerous encounters and several affairs with other women. Despite the infidelities, his wife has stood by his side and never left him.
The Duggar children all grew up in a very strict household. Their parents demanded that they follow every single one of their rules. They are forbidden from going on dates without a chaperone. Additionally, there was very little physical contact allowed and no PDA at all. In fact, they are only allowed to give side hugs until they get married; then they can give all kinds of hugs. During courtship, they are only allowed to communicate through group texts. Also, they are not allowed to read romance novels and have limited Internet access. The girls are banned from wearing certain clothing—in particular, no skirts above the knee or anything that might entice men. They also avoid beaches for that very reason. There is also a strict “no dancing” policy because it’s considered too sensual and sultry.
13 Jill And Derick Dillard’s Short Missionary Trip
In 2014, Jill Duggar married Derick Dillard after dating for less than a year. Jim Bob Duggar had been a prayer partner for Derick during a missionary trip in Nepal and introduced him to his daughter. Jill and Derick have been busy stirring up their own controversy. In 2015, they asked for donations to help fund a missionary trip to El Salvador. They reached out to fans through a blog and said, “God has put a desire in our hearts to serve Him internationally for longer than the typical short-term mission trip.” However, that long mission ended up lasting roughly only two months. Fans were outraged with their short stay and felt like they paid for their vacations. Jill and Derick weren’t cleared to be missionaries and were kicked out for not having the necessary qualifications. They issued refunds and donated to charity in an attempt to make good.
The fact that the Duggars are anti-birth control is no surprise to anyone. It’s obvious from the size of their family but they are also very vocal about their stance. In 2014, Jim Bob claimed that birth control pills could actually cause a pregnancy but then cause an abortion. He said, “That’s what happened with Michelle … she went on the pill after Josh and then got pregnant, and then the pill actually caused a miscarriage.” When they first got married, they wanted to wait to have children so Michelle went on the pill. After having their first child, Michelle went back on the pill. However, she still became pregnant but then miscarried. Since then, they’ve been anti-birth control.
11 Jessa Duggar And Ben Seewald Scamming Fans
The Duggars are one of the most famous reality families on television. They’re also one of the highest-paid TLC stars. Despite having more than enough money, they’re often asking for donations and gifts. Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald caused quite the uproar in preparation for their wedding. In 2015, the couple posted to the family blog asking for gifts and donations for their upcoming wedding. They even emphasized that their favorite stores are Walmart and Target. Fans were angry at the requests and many pointed out that Jessa and Ben are paid roughly $25,000 to $45,000 per episode. They were heavily criticized with most fans feeling like it was just a scam. Other fans began to speculate that they might actually be broke. However, they deleted the post and have tried to pretend it didn’t happen.
10 Jill Duggar Forbidden To Help Pregnant Relative
Susanna Keller is the younger sister of Anna Duggar. She caused a great deal of controversy within the family when she became pregnant out of wedlock. The family has essentially shunned her and treated her as if she doesn’t exist. It should come as no surprise that Jill Duggar is a midwife, which is pretty essential in a family that large. Jill was eager to help Susanna with the birth but her parents wouldn’t allow it. They forbid it because Keller was unmarried and didn’t want Jill to be around her. Rumors suggest that the family didn’t want Jill “exposed to an unmarried mother in the condition.” A few years later, the Duggars ran into Susanna at an event and were shocked that she allowed her two-year-old daughter to dance since the family has a “no dancing” policy.
9 Derick And The Cat
It sometimes seems that the Duggar family just can’t help but stir up controversy. It’s almost as if it follows them around. Well, in this case, Derick literally went head first into controversy. In 2015, Jill and Derick were enjoying some family time sledging in the snow. At one point, Derick ran over a cat that was at the bottom of the hill. Animal lovers all over the world were in a blind rage after Jill and Derick uploaded the video to Instagram. PETA was outraged and demanded an apology from Derick. PETA’s Director of Christian Outreach stated, “I hope you’ll publicly apologize for your actions, and remind your followers that Jesus’ command to ‘do unto others’ includes all of God’s creatures.” However, Jill claims that the cat jumped out of the way out of frame. Derick has never issued an apology.
8 Josh Duggar’s Shocking Scandal
Josh Duggar has been entangled in several scandals for a few years now. However, the scandal that started the downward spiral is the most shocking of them all. In 2015, Josh confessed to m*lesting 5 underage girls between 2002 and 2003 when he was 14 and 15. Four of the underage girls were his younger sisters. The scandal grew larger when it was revealed that his parents were aware of his disturbing actions. He confessed to his parents when he was younger. They sent him away for counselling and therapy, as well as the victims. His parents tried to keep the secret hidden for years. The scandal resulted in the cancellation of the series. TLC launched a spin-off, Counting On, which Josh is not a part of, although his wife and children appear.
7 Josh’s Wife Knew And Sisters Defend Him
Through all the controversy and disturbing scandals, Josh’s family has stood by him. In fact, his wife Anna was aware of his actions two years before getting married. However, rumors suggest that she may have had some reservations about marrying him but was pushed into it by her family. Regardless, she has stayed with him despite the revelations of his infidelities and cheating. Additionally, his sisters Jill and Jessa, also his victims, appeared on the Kelly File to defend Josh. Jessa said, “I do want to speak up in his defence against people who are calling him names.” She added, “I’m like that is so overboard and a lie really. I mean people get mad at me for saying that but I can say this because I was one of the victims.”
6 Homeschooled By A IBLP Leader
The Duggars are known for their commitment to Christianity and their deep religious beliefs. However, they’ve created a bit of controversy with their affiliation with the Institute in Basic Life Principles. The IBLP is actually considered a cult but that won’t stop the Duggars from being devoted followers. Additionally, the Duggars believe in homeschooling their children and enrolled them in an IBLP homeschool program. The former head of the IBLP and creator of the program was Bill Gothard. Gothard found himself at the center of controversy after allegations surfaced of molestation and harassment. In 2014, Gothard stepped down but the damage had already been done. Regardless of the scandal, the Duggar family has no intentions of leaving the IBLP. They’ve received a great deal of criticism for associating with the IBLP but they have stood by their beliefs.
5 Josh Duggar And The "Film" Star
For several years now, Josh has been wrapped up in scandal after scandal. He’s like an endless stream of controversy. In 2015, Josh was accused of assaulting adult film star Danica Dillon. She admitted that he had paid for two physical consensual encounters but they were so rough and emotionless that she felt assaulted after the fact. She stated, “I tried to be seductive” but it was clear to her that Josh had something else in mind. She added, “And then he was like, ‘No, let’s get straight to the point,’ and [we] took our clothes off, took his clothes off, and he was very rough with me.” She sued him for $500,000 for emotional and physical damages. She was even willing to have her therapist testify. Josh denied the allegations, and Dillon was eventually forced to drop the charges.
4 Michelle Duggar’s Protest
Michelle Duggar is known for producing a lot of babies and protesting for a cause. She is clearly very passionate about both, but some causes just take precedent. In 2009, Michelle gave birth to her 19th child, Josie. She was born prematurely and weighed one pound and six ounces. Josie was moved to the neonatal intensive care unit for further observations. However, Michelle left her daughter’s side a few days later to protest a local EZ Mart. The store was attempting to get a liquor license, and this greatly concerned Michelle. She said, “Personally, I don’t think alcohol needs to be convenient.” She was worried about the negative influence it would have on children with it “being so close to home.” Michelle was heavily criticized for her decision to leave the hospital to join a protest.
3 Duggar Sisters Suing Police Station
The scandal involving Josh and his sisters shocked the reality TV world. The news spread across the world and showed the family in a new light. With each day, the news became an even bigger story with more scandals coming out. In 2006, the sisters came forward about Josh’s actions. They were ensured the information would only be shared with the Arkansas police and child protective services. In 2015, it was InTouch magazine that broke the scandal after obtaining the information from the Arkansas police using the Freedom of Information Act. However, Arkansas law states that the police cannot release any information in connection with misconduct involving minors. The four sisters, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna, are suing Arkansas City police officials and InTouch magazine for breach of privacy in releasing and publishing the information regarding the scandal.
2 Michelle Duggar’s Controversial Advice
The family is known for their strict religious values. In fact, they believe in chaperoned courtship where a couple gets to know each other in a group setting. However, Michelle caused quite the uproar with her advise to newlyweds that many perceived as misogynistic views. During an appearance on The Today Show, she explained that all wives should be willing and ready to satisfy their husbands in bed. Regardless if the wives are exhausted, she believes it’s essentially their duty. She said, “Your hubby comes home after a hard day’s work, you get the baby to bed, and he is going to be looking forward to that time with you. Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls.”
1 Michelle Duggar Had A Gay Crew Member Removed
The Duggars have been accused on several occasions of having an anti-LGBT stance. On one occasion, they asked fans to submit pics of couples kissing to their Facebook page but deleted any pics that featured a gay couple. Additionally, Jill’s husband, Derick Dillard, was accused of bullying (online) a transgender teen that appears on the TLC series I AM Jazz. Additionally, they received heavy criticism for their treatment of a gay crew member. Rumors suggest that the family relentlessly bullied a crew member when they found out that he was gay. Later, Michelle Duggar spoke with one of the producers and had the crew member removed from the series. He was assigned to a different production, and no gay crew members worked on the series since or the current spin-off series Counting On.