Anybody who says that they could have predicted the success of Duck Dynasty is either lying or… no. They’re lying. Neither the producers of the show, nor the Robertsons themselves thought that anything would come of a show about their duck caller business. The show earned $80 million in advertising revenue, $400 million in merchandise revenue, and became the most watched non-fiction cable series in the history of television.
What is it about Duck Dynasty that makes people watch? The beauty of the duck feathers? The melodious quacking echoes from Duck Commander duck calls? The majesty of those beards? No. The reason people watch Duck Dynasty is that it portrays a loving, large, happy family that eats and hunts and prays together. People just eat that all-American apple pie life right up. And along with that, they are multi-millionaires. Rednecks that, on the one hand eat squirrel brains, and on the other have a multi-million dollar empire are just plain fascinating. But hold on a second. We are only seeing what the camera shows us. The only reason the Robertsons seem like a perfect family is because they are acting for the cameras like a perfect family. What you don’t see are the secrets and unsaid.
This article will take you inside the marital affairs, drug abuse, molestation, and darn-tootin’ blasphemy that A&E won’t show you.
15. Jessica Robinson Was Wild In College
Jessica Robertson is easily the hottest of the Duck Dynasty women. Piercing eyes, a stunning figure, and a bright smile, she’s got it all. Of course, being a part of such a conservative and religious family as the Robertson’s she was always off-limits to everyone but her beloved Jeb, right? Well, not exactly. When Jessica met Jeb, she could have been in a Girls Gone Wild college video. Although the details are vague, Jessica admitted “I was going through quite a lot when I met Jep… Just kind of being in that college age and environment. Just doing things that you don’t want to live the rest of your life doing.” In her most telling moment, Jessica said that the Robertson family was “so forgiving of anything I did in my past as a young girl.” It’s not clear what activities went on that she needed to ask forgiveness for, but use your imagination.
14. Phil Broke Louisiana Laws About Being With An Underage Partner
When you think of reality stars, maybe you think of drugs and sex. Maybe prison. But breaking statutory r*pe laws? No that’s the territory of felons and convicts, right? Not your flawed, but loveable reality TV stars? Think again. Phil and Miss Kay began dating when she was 14 and he was 18. Of course just dating isn’t illegal, but at 16 years old, Miss Kay became pregnant with her first son. In order to avoid being arrested for statutory r*pe (although Phil technically violated the law regardless), he and Miss Kay married. Phil violated Louisiana statutory r*pe laws, where the minimum age is 17, and got away with it scott-free. Even worse, Phil has advocated on the show for other men to “marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16.”
13. Jep Was Addicted To Illegal Substances
Jep and Jessica are one of the best couples on the show. And by best I mean hot. Jessica is a smokeshow. And although Jep seems simply like a nice, joking, religious member of the family, it seems that Jessica is attracted to bad boys. Late into high school, Jep fell in with the wrong kind of crowd. He started drinking. A lot. And he began to do drugs. He would take whatever pill he could get his hands on and smoked things like a “wet daddy,” a joint dipped in formaldehyde. Jep remembers one night blacking out and the next thing he knew, he was scratched up in the woods next to his car. His family had an intervention and Jep chose his family over the drugs and alcohol.
12. The Beards Are A Branding Gimmick
There’s nothing that says Duck Dynasty more than the Robertsons’ beards. The scraggly squirrel nests are frequently the butts of the wives’ jokes throughout the show. The beards have become so iconic that they have been incorporated into the lucrative Duck Dynasty merchandise business. Some Duck Dynasty shirts have graphic Robertson beards without the rest of their faces and they sell off the racks! Guess what? They are a branding gimmick. As recently as 2001, none of the Robertson boys had beards. But they all have heads for marketing and realized that throwing on a bit more camouflage, sporting some more American flag clothing, and growing those majestic beards could be just the thing to bring curious viewers to their TV show.
11. Phil Once Assaulted A Couple And Fled The State
Phil comes across on Duck Dynasty as the tough grandpa with the heart of gold. He seems gruff and certainly doesn’t mind getting dirty, but always ends up laughing and joking around no matter the scenario. Seems like a guy who might be fun to get a few drinks with. Oh yeah unless he savagely beats you and your wife at the bar and then flees the state. In the 1970s, Phil was a young man in a Louisiana bar when he got in a fight with the bar owner and it came to violence. For some unexplained (and probably inexplicable) reason, Phil also beat up the bar owner’s wife. He fled to Arkansas to avoid being arrested for assault and battery. Miss Kay convinced the couple not to press charges in return for almost all of their life savings.
10. Jep Robertson Was Abused As A Boy
The men of Duck Dynasty certainly give off an air of toughness. Some might say it is part of their brand. The big beards, big guns, and big personalities speak of men who can handle any situation and take their fates into their own hands. Sadly for Jep Robertson, this tough façade belies a vulnerable boy with a hidden past. When Jep was six years old, an older girl in his elementary school befriended him. Jep looked up to her as a kind of motherly figure and he always sat next to her on the bus. Then she started asking Jep to touch her in places that he didn’t want to. Young Jep became so traumatized that he faked being sick just so he wouldn’t have to go to school.
9. Si Almost Killed A Mother And Child In Vietnam
Si is the sweet, funny uncle to the Robertson boys. His one-liners are incredibly quotable, but according to an inside source Si was the most camera-shy of the bunch when the show began. Like many men of his generation, Si was shaken to his core when fighting in Vietnam. Si admitted that the only way he coped with the brutal conditions was through copious amounts of alcohol. Vietnam changed the nice young boy from Louisiana. At one point during the war, Si recounted that he almost killed a Vietnamese boy and his mother. Just because. So much for the family-friendly values of Duck Dynasty.
8. Lisa Robertson, Wife Of Alan, Had A Rough Childhood
Lisa Robertson, Alan’s wife, had an incredibly difficult childhood. Her story is not for the faint of heart. At 7 years old, a family member began molesting her. She never told anyone because he threatened to hurt her family if she did. Lisa tells all of this and more in a book called “A New Season: A Robertson Family Love Story of Brokenness and Redemption.” At age 17, Lisa became pregnant and had an abortion procedure, a pretty clear red line that most of the Robertson family believes is morally wrong. Scott and Lisa have clearly done something right though, because their marriage has survived for 30 years.
7. Phil Thinks STDs Are Punishment For “Immoral Conduct”
It’s no secret that Phil is a religious guy that isn’t afraid to say what he believes. Still, I imagine Miss Kay wouldn’t be so happy with him announcing to the whole world that he believes STDs are god’s punishment for those who have gay sex and sex out of wedlock. This is the same belief that slowed Ronald Reagan’s response to the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, potentially letting hundreds more gay men die than had to. According to Phil, “Either it’s the wildest coincidence ever that horrible diseases follow immoral conduct, or, it’s God saying, ‘There’s a penalty for that kind of conduct.’ I’m leaning towards there’s a penalty for it.”
6. Si’s Son, Scott, Has Some Serious Issues
While Si is front and center throughout Duck Dynasty, due to his lovable demeanor, quick wit, and biting one-liners, his immediate family is conspicuously absent. One reason is because there are some secrets on that side of the family that would make Duck Dynasty less of a family show. Si’s son, Scott, was born two months premature in 1977 with serious brain damage. Si claims that he’s been suicidal since he was five years old. Whenever he would get angry, instead of screaming like a normal child, Scott would just fold his arms up and fall back right on his head. When Scott was age 11, Si’s wife, Christine, caught him trying to jump out a window.
5. The Family And The Producers Aren’t On The Same Page
As we know, Duck Dynasty is still running, and going strong. This would lead us to assume that the Robertson family must be happy with the show and how the producers are running it, right? Well, not exactly. In an interview with Phil and Willie, Phil dished about how the showrunners inserted fake ‘bleeps’ into dialogue, just to make it seem like there was cursing and drama. Phil was adamant that no one was using profanity. He complained that the Hollywood types have “no moral compass” and manipulated footage to suit their own needs. Phil, however, believes that his show is having a positive impact on the U.S. in making it more religious.
4. Miss Kay Considered Ending Her Marriage With Phil
Phil’s and Miss Kay’s marriage seems like the kind that you read about in story books. Miss Kay wakes up every morning to a decades-old note on the bed frame written by Phil that says how much he loves her. They really seem like they have been together through sickness and through health and are the perfect couple. What the show conveniently leaves out is that there was a time when Phil and Miss Kay broke up as Phil’s alcoholism reached a fever pitch. He accused her of being unfaithful, and Miss Kay decided that she “wanted to take enough Tylenol… to have a nice, long rest” and “didn’t care if I slept forever.” It was only the thought of her children prevented her from going through with it. It’s impressive they’re still together, but Phil’s and Miss Kay’s marriage wasn’t always jokes and pies.
3. Lisa’s Affair Caused She And Alan To Break Up In 1999
Alan Robertson is the eldest brother of Willie’s and Jep’s generation and is the only male member of the Duck Dynasty clan that eschews the long beard for a clean-shaven look. Willie unabashedly calls him the “black sheep of the family.” He is a soft-spoken pastor who recently returned to the family business. It is surprising then, that the most religious member of the Robertson family was one who almost permanently split from his wife, Lisa, in 1999. The Robertsons obviously sided with their own, Alan, and pushed for him to divorce Lisa. They stayed together, however. This difficult family history may be one reason that Lisa rarely shows her face on the show.
2. Duck Dynasty Is Tearing The Family Apart
In most reality TV the fun is the feuds and drama. We live for seeing Kim Kardashian rip into her family or a member of the house in the Real World screaming and then collapsing into tears. Duck Dynasty is different, with a wholesome, family-friendly vibe that makes everyone watching wish they had a family as wholesome and tight-knit. Actually, no. It turns out that the show itself is actually turning family members against each other. A secret source said, “Willie wants to build them a bigger empire,” whereas Phil thinks that the show is taking away from his preaching. Jessica and Jep “fear the show will damage their marriage.” Whenever someone objects to Willie’s ideas he claims “they don’t see the big picture.”
1. Lisa Robertson Was Still Promiscuous After Her Abortion
Lisa Robertson, Alan’s wife, rarely shows up on Duck Dynasty, but when she does, there is usually noticeably less bantering and joking among the family. Even the camera and editing can’t hide the fact that she isn’t quite one of the clan. Maybe that’s because Alan is the most aloof brother of the family. But Lisa certainly has a colorful past of her own that may be the reason for the evident discomfort when she appears. Before she began dating Alan, Lisa had to get an abortion. Even after the traumatic experience, she stayed wild, recalling that she was “sleeping with anyone she could.” Even after she married Al, that tendency never quite disappeared…
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