Jill Dillard (née Duggar) and her husband, Derick Dillard, broke their silence about the cancellation of Counting On and explained why they were a “little late” to speak out about the show’s ending after 11 seasons.
“We just learned the news with the rest of the world last Tuesday [and] this season of life is quite busy for us,” the couple wrote via their shared blog on Monday, July 5. “We first heard of the cancellation when both a friend and a cousin each texted us after seeing TLC’s statement online. We do not know how long the cancellation had been planned.”
On Tuesday, June 29, the network announced TLC will not be “producing additional seasons” of Counting On, noting they feel it is “important to give the family the opportunity to address their situation privately” amid Josh Duggar’s child porn charges, which he has pleaded not guilty to.
At this time, his wife, Anna Duggar (née Keller), is pregnant with their seventh child and Josh has been required to stay with his third-party custodians, Duggar family friends Lacount and Maria Reber. He currently has unlimited access to his children as long as Anna is present for the visits.
Jill, 30, and Derick, 32, pointed out that it has been over four years since they stepped away from the series to forge their own path in life. “Although we were initially barred from sharing our decision to leave the show [in 2017], we have opened up a little more recently on our social media,” the parents of two, who share kids Israel, 6, and 3-year-old Samuel, continued.
“During our years on the show, we had many great experiences with the network, and several of the crew members have even become like family to us!” the former TV personalities shared. “However, we also faced many pressures and some unexpected challenges which forced us to step away from the show in an effort to gain more control over our own lives and to do what was best for our family.”
“The pursuit of freedom and authenticity has been a growing theme in our lives. Our story is still being written, and this event is just one more step forward toward that goal,” they concluded. “Our family’s departure from 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On has allowed us to make our own decisions, including the ability to have a choice in what we share. For now, we will move forward on our own terms, and we look forward to whatever opportunities the future holds.”
Jill and Derick’s statement comes after In Touch confirmed Josh’s trial was pushed back to later this year. His new trial date is November 30, and his pretrial conference is on November 18.
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