Taking sides. 19 Kids & Counting alum James Duggar – the seventh son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – shared a cryptic message following the premiere of Amazon Prime’s Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets documentary. 

“It’s okay to lose your pride over someone you love. Don’t lose someone you love over your pride,” James, 23, shared via Instagram on Friday, June 2, just one day after the four-part docuseries was released.

James isn’t the only family member to break his silence following the expository documentary, however. Just hours after the streaming platform dropped the episodes on Thursday, June 1, Jim Bob, 57, and Michelle, 56, opened up about their strained relationships with family members in a statement shared via their family website. 

James Duggar Shares Cryptic Message Amid ‘Shiny Happy People’ Doc
Courtesy of James Duggar/Instagram

“We have always believed that the best chance to repair damaged relationships, or to reconcile differences, is through love in a private setting,” the couple wrote. “We love every member of our family and will continue to do all we can to have a good relationship with each one.”

They went on to say that their family has “experienced the joys and heartbreaks of life” as all families do, but their troubles have been “very public.”

“The recent ‘documentary’ that talks about our family is sad because in it we see the media and those with ill intentions hurting people we love … This ‘documentary’ paints so much and so many in a derogatory and sensationalized way because sadly that’s the direction of entertainment these days,” they continued. “Through both the triumphs and the trials we have clung to our faith all the more and discovered that through the love and grace of Jesus, we find strength, comfort, and purpose.”

While the Arkansas-based couple – who share 19 children together – did not participate in the Amazon documentary, their daughter Jill Dillard (née Duggar) and her husband, Derick Dillard, as well as the couple’s niece Amy King were featured throughout the series. 

“My dad does control a lot of things in the family,” Jill, 32, said in the fourth and final episode. “Family relationships were already kinda rocky … Everything within the family dynamic has shifted, and not for the better.”

While the mother of three is still in contact with her family as she was recently seen enjoying a girls’ day with her eight sisters and their mother, Amy, 36, revealed that she has not spoken to her aunt and uncle since 2019.  

“Let me tell you, I wish from the bottom of my heart it wasn’t like this,” she shared via her Instagram Story on Thursday, June 1. “I wish I could be with my family. I wish I didn’t have to be so loud about something that’s so disturbing.”

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