Jill Duggar Dillard Says She Only Made $175K for Nearly 10 Years of Filming 2 Hit Reality Shows (Exclusive)

Six years after she quit being a reality star, Jill Duggar Dillard is revealing some truths about the finances of her family’s hit series 19 Children and countingand its spinoff Count on.

In his debut memoir, Cost calculationwhich comes out on September 12, Jill reveals that she wasn’t paid at all to film the shows, which she says could take up to 20 hours a week, if not more.

Reason? Her father, Jim Bob Duggar, handled all the finances and negotiations with the network, and she and her siblings did as they were told.

Jill says that compensation was not even on her mind for a long time.

“I think I was so conditioned by that belief that we benefited from it, from going on this trip or that trip or whatever,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “It was like now we can buy frozen pizzas instead of beans and rice because [TLC] covers those things. It was literally so ingrained in me to be grateful.”

Jill Duggar Dillard’s memoir, Counting the Cost, available September 12.

Courtesy of the book gallery

Jill Duggar Dillard Says Reality Shows Almost Tore Up Her Marriage: ‘Another Wake Up Call’ (Exclusive)

Jill, 32, adds that the mentality stayed with her, even when she got married and she and her husband, Derick Dillard, began exploring the idea of ​​getting paid to support their growing family.

“I was talking to a friend about not paying and I said, ‘Well, I mean, they covered the trips to the store…’ And they said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ They said, ‘No, that’s not normal. It doesn’t pay you.’ But it’s still so ingrained in me that I always focus on the positive.”

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The mom of three boys adds: “It makes sense that someone would want to push that story [of staying grateful]because they see greater benefits.”

The “someone” she’s referring to is her dad, who she claims received money from the show. After asking him about a possible payment, she wrote that he ended up offering his grown children a check for $80,000 each.

The Duggar Family

The Duggar Family on ’19 Kids and Counting’ in 2008.


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Jill says she and Derick, 34, turned down the offer after finally seeing the original contracts her father signed in 2014. In her book, she estimates the family earned about $8 million for nearly ten years of starring in their reality show. After she and Derick found a lawyer, they ended up accepting a check from Jim Bob for $175,000.

Still, Jill says it didn’t feel like a victory. Her relationship with her parents was only further strained, something that first happened when, she claims, she discovered that “Pops” tricked her into signing a contract stating that he would fulfill various recording obligations for the next five years without telling her. .

“It affected our marriage,” Jill tells PEOPLE of the ensuing drama between her and her parents. “That and the awareness of the whole contract thing… I was [cheated] someone I thought I could trust.”

Jill and Derrick Dillard photographed at their home in Siloam Springs, AR on August 21, 2023.

Jill Duggar Dillard and husband Derick Dillard at their home in August 2023.

Larsen & Talbert

In a statement to PEOPLE, Jim Bob and wife Michelle Duggar said, “We love all of our children very much. As with any family, few things are more painful than conflict or problems among the ones you love. Our goal was to be honorable with our children, our finances and our other endeavors. Although we are imperfect, our intention and desire is to live a life that glorifies Christ.”

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The statement continued: “We do not believe that the best way to resolve conflict, facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation or communicate through difficulties is through the media or in a public forum so we will not comment. As the future unfolds, we will continue to love your family, pray for them and enjoy in every moment that is given to us to be parents and grandparents.”

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Jill and Derrick Dillard photographed at their home in Siloam Springs, AR on August 21, 2023.

Jill Duggar Dillard and Derick Dillard at their home in August 2023.

Larsen & Talbert

As for why Jill is giving her side of the story now – six years after leaving the show – she says it’s because she wants to encourage other people to speak up when they felt they didn’t have a voice before.

“I didn’t want to have to write this story,” she says. “I love my parents. I love my siblings. I struggle with the weight of it. But I feel called to do this. I feel passionate about empowering other people to find their voice, and if they do through my story, great. I want them to feel like that they are not alone.”

For more on Jill Duggar Dillard and Derick Dillard, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

Jill and Derick’s Memoirs, Cost calculationit will be available for purchase at all sales points on Tuesday, September 12.

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