Oh, the Duggars. The family we all pretend we don't care about but read up on as though their drama is what is keeping us alive.
For your consideration, entertainment, and extreme nosiness (and mine too) I've compiled a list of the biggest Duggar scandals to ever hit the news. Some of them are pretty ridiculous, but others are definitely worthy of the title "what is this family thinking?" Let's start off with some small ones.
1. Jinger Duggar Wears PANTS
Anyone who knows anything about the Duggar family knows they are extremely conservative. The family requires all the females to wear longs skirts and cover their knees in the name of modesty. Even when swimming, girls must stay covered up.
But it seems that one Duggar girl has broken the rules and gone her own way. Jinger Duggar, who is married to former soccer player Jeremy Vuolo, made headlines in the fan base when a picture of her wearing pants started circulating online.
Many called out Jinger for straying from the family values, but her husband came to her defense.
“It is your liberty as to whether you dress modestly with a modest pair of pants, or with a skirt, or with a T-shirt, or with a blouse,” Jeremy said. “It is not your liberty, women, to wear sensual, seductive clothing that is designed to draw the attention of your brothers."
Awkward phrasing to say brothers, especially considering Jinger was molested by her older brother Josh...but I digress. Since that debacle about a year ago, Jinger's sister Jill has also been spotted wearing jeans. And really, who can blame them?
2. Jessa's Messy House
Jessa Duggar, who has two kids under the age of four, posted a series of pictures that showcased how messy her house can get with two young ones around. Jessa posted several photos of her messy home, but the one that really got fans talking was the one of a pile of dirty diapers stacked on a table.
"Pile of diapers on the top of my dresser... pretty sure these all collected in the past 12 hours," Jessa wrote.
The other pictures included scribbled-on walls, a dirty stove, dusty side tables, and clothes piled everywhere. Jessa said the point of the post was to show that some things are more important than cleaning, like spending time with your kids. Not everyone agreed.
"I'm sorry but kids take naps and go to bed, clean when they do. My daughter has 3 small ones and my son has 4, but they would never live this dirty. It only takes a few minutes to clean up a mess room by room and all the while playing or singing to your kids. Absolutely Disgusting!"
"The sheets, stove, and diapers are disgusting. Your husband doesn’t work a full time job. You’ve got tons of family nearby that could help you. You should really clean it up."
Jessa later clarified that her diaper genie was broken which is why they were piled on the dresser.
Those were relatively tame, and things only get better from there.
3. Did Joy-Anna Have Pre-Marital Sex?
Joy-Anna Duggar and her husband, Austin Forsyth, were the targets of harsh scrutiny when they announced their pregnancy. The thing is, the outrage had nothing to do with them actually being pregnant...but rather the timing of it all. You see, the original date of the couple's wedding was October 28th, but it got moved up to May just four months after they got engaged. Why the hurry?
Three months after Joy-Anna's wedding, she announced she was expecting her first child, which got the rumor mill turning, especially after she posted a picture of her stomach.
If Joy-Anna got pregnant on her wedding night, she would be 14 weeks, 5 days pregnant in this picture. Her bump garnered a lot of attention, as people noticed it was larger than a normal 3-month baby bump. This could only mean one thing: Joy-Anna and Austin got pregnant before their wedding, and that's why it had to be moved.
More and more pictures surfaced of the TV star's belly, and each one seemed to confirm suspicions. Joy-Anna actually just gave birth to the couple's first child, a baby boy named Gideon, on February 23rd. The baby weighed in at 10lbs 3oz, so it's possible that's why Joy-Anna was showing so much. Or it's possible she's a rebellious daughter who had sex with her fiancee. Who's to say?
4. Jana Duggar Is Trapped
The oldest Duggar daughter is often referred to as the "Cinderella Duggar" as she is left to care for the kids and do chores when Jim Bob and Michelle are away. She's been single forever as far as anyone can tell, which is not totally unusual for a 27-year-old woman, but the fact that four of her younger sisters are married with kids, it's led to a lot of speculation.
"I don't really know what the next five years look like," Jana said in the past. "I guess in some ways [I've] got hopes and dreams like, 'Well, maybe I'll meet the one, and get married and have kids.' I'm not just out to get married to the first one that comes along. I mean, sometimes it can be tempting. … [Especially] in those moments where your siblings, who are married and have little ones, are going out on dates and doing their things."
Jana doesn't even have a job, although she did buy herself a tattoo parlor, though it's technically not an active parlor anymore. Jana bought it for $95,000 (where she got that money, I have no idea) and the word is she's ready to start her own business. When she'll have time for that is unclear, especially since she's the resident babysitter.
Then, of course, there's the mess that is Derick Dillard and Jill Duggar's marriage.
5. Jill And Derick Lie To Their Fans (And Church)
For the better part of their marriage, Jill and Derrick have spent time in Central America doing missionary work. The couple found it rewarding, but faced some backlash after their son Israel was bitten by some bugs in El Salvador which carry foreign diseases. Jill, who is expecting her second child, also exposed herself to the Zika virus by being out of the United States. But then it turned out that not only were they putting their kids in danger, but they were also lying about their mission work.
According to the Southern Baptist Convention, the church through which the couple applied for the missionary position, the following requirements need to be met:
"Must complete at least 12 college credit hours comprising three hours each of new testament survey, old testament survey, biblical or systematic theology, as well as elective courses in general ministry."
Derick only has an undergraduate in accounting, and Jill has no post-secondary education at all. Her midwife training was not enough to keep the application from getting rejected. While there's no question that they were doing good deeds in El Salvador, the big issue was that they were asking fans for money to help fund what they were boasting as a legitimate mission trip.
6. Derick Dillard Can't Stop Tweeting, Then Gets Himself Fired
TLC runs a show called I Am Jazz, which follows 17-year-old Jazz Jennings as she lives her life as a transgender teen, transitioning from male to female. The show has been one of TLC's most viewed show on the network and is doing incredible work for the LGBTQ community.
Derick Dillard's comments on TLC's transgendered star, Jazz Jennings, are what got him and his wife fired from the network. Jennings, who identifies as a girl but was born a boy, is only 17 years old. Dillard went on to tweet harsh words at the TV star about how being transgender is a myth.
“What an oxymoron... a 'reality' show which follows a non-reality. 'Transgender' is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God," Derick wrote on Twitter in August.
After Jennings tweeted about cyber-bullying, Derick continued his rampage.
"I pity Jazz, 4 those who take advantage of him in order 2 promote their agenda, including the parents who allow these kinds of decisions 2 be made by a child. It's sad that ppl would use a juvenile this way. Again, nothing against him, just unfortunate what's on TV these days."
Dillard claims he "never bullied anyone" and "just said [he] didn't agree with what is being propagated on TV."
Jennings, who is 11 years younger than Dillard, chose to take the high road in the whole situation.
"In the face of constant ignorance and hatred I prefer to disregard negative opinions and continue moving forward with love," she wrote on Twitter.
Dillard and his wife were then fired from their family's TV show, Counting On.
Now, let's get the obvious ones out of the way.
Before we look into some other scandals, let's get the big ones out of the way: anything that involves Josh Duggar.
7. The Molestation Situation
It was revealed that Josh Duggar, the eldest Duggar child, had molested five girls when he was 14 years old in 2002. Four of Josh's victims were his sisters Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna. The Duggar son fondled the breasts and genitals of his sisters. The family was adamant that, at the time, the situation was dealt with properly. From what the world could tell, this meant no co-ed babysitting or hide and seek.
Josh issued an apology for his actions and said that his parents and Christ helped him through it. Some people (for some odd reason) were ready to forgive Josh and move on, but then another scandal rocked the family hard just weeks after the abuse was revealed. After a hacker released information from Ashley Madison, an infidelity website, the world found out that Josh Duggar had spent almost $1,000 on monthly subscriptions to the site.
The subscriptions ran from February 2013 to May 2015, meaning he had been married to his wife, Anna, for five years when Duggar decided to look outside his marriage for attention. It was also five months before the birth of the couple's second child.
Josh released yet another statement, and revealed he would be going to rehab. This is the scandal that ultimately got 19 Kids and Counting cancelled.
8. Jessa And Jill Blame The Media
Two of the sisters Josh molested, Jess and Jill, spoke about the abuse with Fox News and revealed that Josh was sent away for some time after he molested them. The weirdest part, though, was when the girls said they didn't even think it was that big of a deal. They referred to it as "inappropriate touching from a young man who was curious about girls." They also said they didn't even know what it was.
“We didn’t even know about it," Jill said when asked about Josh's abuse, adding that Josh was "very sly" in his actions.
The sisters then went on the blame the media for treating them like porn stars through all this, saying their coverage could cause victims to "take a pause before they do something to report...maybe these other victims will just not even have their situation dealt with."
"Bauer Media Group," Jessa said. "They're a major porn provider. Maybe [that's] their mindset. They’re just used to making objects out of women. Maybe we just didn’t seem any different.”
Ya, I doubt that's it.
But neither Jim Bob nor Michelle Duggar are immune to the drama either.
9. Michelle and Jim Bob Accused Of Child Abuse
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar found themselves in hot water amid the Josh molestation scandal, not only because they covered it up, but also because reports showed they were being accused of child abuse.
During the investigation, all the kids were interviewed by police, who asked about the way the kids are treated at home. One of the kids, who was not named in the report, admitted that the extremely religious parents do, in fact, spank their children. When asked "what they use to spank," the child replied with "they have a rod." The child also said that every kid was subjected to the physical punishment, but that no bruising was ever left after a spanking.
While spanking is a hot-button topic, it's technically not illegal in Arkansas considering there were no marks left. Arkansas law states that child abuse is considered:
- Causing greater than passing pain or leave more than minor temporary mark
- Striking a child on the face or head
- Striking a child with a closed fist
The Duggars never commented on these claims, and nothing else ever came of it, but it's not a good look for a family who is often accused of exploiting their kids for fame.