Jill Duggar filmed for over a decade as a reality star on TLC but in a shocking new interview, she reveals she was never paid for her time on the show and that she had to get a lawyer involved in order to recoup her reality TV income.
As fans of the TLC franchise 19 Kids and Counting will remember, Jill appeared on the show since it premiered on TLC in 2008 and after it was cancelled in 2005, she went on to star on the show’s spinoff Counting On (originally called Jill and Jessa: Counting On.)
Her father Jim Bob was listed as both show’s primary payee, however, meaning that all cheques from the network landed in his bank account. At the time, the family earned $25,000 to $45,000 per episode but in a new interview with PEOPLE, Jill Duggar says she never saw a dime of that money from TLC until she quit the spinoff in 2017.
“That’s when we got an attorney involved and finally recovered some of the money,” she told the magazine. “It was a process.”
“It probably ended up being a little more than minimum wage,” her husband Derick Dillard remarked in a recent YouTube video. “But we were able to recover at least something.”
PEOPLE noted that TLC declined to comment for their story.
The family responds
Since quitting the show, Jill and her husband Derick have distanced themselves from the family and are no longer in contact.
“I never expected this to happen or for it to get to this point,” she explained. “But I’m realizing I can’t put a timeline on healing. I love my family and they love me. I really just have to follow God’s lead and take it one day at a time.”
PEOPLE reached out to Jim Bob and his wife, Michelle, and the couple released a rather interesting statement in response to Jill’s interview: “Every family has differences of opinion and perspective at times, but families work things out. We all love Jill, Derick, and their boys very much. It is our prayer that our relationship is healed and fully restored quickly!”
Sexual abuse allegations
TLC cancelled 19 Kids and Counting back in 2015 after Josh Duggar was publicly accused of allegedly sexually abusing some of his younger siblings. Jill and her sister Jessa Seewald both confirmed that they were two of the six victims.
At the time, 19 Kids and Counting and the Duggar family were hot properties for the TLC. The initial news came as a shock to fans of the show, with the later confirmation from Jill and Jessa only adding to that shock.