Jill Dillard (née Duggar)’s husband, Derick Dillard, revealed that his perception of father-in-law Jim Bob Duggar has changed over the years as he’s realized the Duggar patriarch is seemingly “always scheming.” 

In an interview with Vanity Fair published on Wednesday, September 13, Derick, 34, admitted that Jim Bob, 58, “seemed like a nice guy” when they first met back in 2011. “He seemed like he had a heart for missions and a genuine interest in my work, and I was grateful for that. He didn’t really raise any red flags at the time,” Derick explained. 

However, looking back today, the attorney wonders if Jim Bob’s friendly nature was an act to get Derick’s guard down and see how easily he could be manipulated for their reality TV shows, 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On. “In hindsight, it seems like he’s always scheming,” Derick added.

Derick met Jill, 32, while caroling with a group at the Duggar house during the Christmas season in 2011. Soon after that, he contacted Jim Bob to ask if he would be Derick’s prayer partner during a two-year term in Nepal. Jim Bob accepted Derick’s request and stayed in touch with him, and he eventually started trying to set up Derick and Jill. 

“We would talk every couple weeks or so to discuss how our work was going and what current prayer needs were,” Derick revealed on his and Jill’s wedding website in 2014. “Jill’s dad would also mention periodically the work Jill was doing in her studies as a student midwife and her desire to someday use her skills overseas on the mission field.”

Jim Bob Duggar and daughter Jill Duggar on her wedding day

After continued matchmaking efforts from Jim Bob, Jill and Derick’s courtship officially began in 2013. Derick asked for Jim Bob’s blessing to marry Jill in February 2014 and proposed one month later. The two tied the knot in Arkansas in June 2014, with the wedding documented in a two-part television special. 

As Jill and Derick revealed in Amazon Prime Video’s Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets docuseries, the couple hesitated to allow their wedding to be televised but felt they had no choice in the matter due to Jim Bob’s control over the family’s TLC shows. Jill said that amidst the chaos of their wedding planning, her father presented her with a contract to sign, only later finding out that the document basically signed her and Derick’s life away for five years. They were obligated to several hours of filming and photoshoots and had no choice but to allow cameras to film the birth of Jill and Derick’s first son, Israel, in 2015. 

Despite the work, Jill and Derick claimed they received very little pay for the reality shows, as the money allegedly went to Jim Bob instead. In Jill’s recently released memoir, Counting the Cost, she detailed some of her and Derick’s efforts to ask Jim Bob for back pay. In one instance, Jill recalled that she and her husband received a tax bill of $130,000 in earnings and wrote to Jim Bob to ask for the money they were owed for the reality shows. Jim Bob allegedly responded by sending a breakdown of the cost of raising his daughter and offered to give Jill only $20,000. He also allegedly threatened to reduce her inheritance money.

“’$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 claimed her father said. “‘If you attack us, probably your inheritance will be lowered significantly. I love you, but I am grieved by the disrespect and the accusations that continue.’”

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