Jill Duggar Talks 'Counting On' 'Pressures' Following Its Cancellation

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are recalling their time filming Counting On. Just days after news broke that TLC had cancelled the Duggar family’s long-running reality series, Jill and her husband, who share sons Samuel, 3, and Israel, 6, looked back on the show in a message posted on their website.

Jill and Derick, who tied the knot in 2014, distanced themselves from the Duggars after their 2017 departure from Counting On. Since their exit, Jill has publicly gone against some of her family’s well-known rules by drinking alcohol, getting a nose ring, wearing jeans and reading the Kama Sutra.

“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 couple wrote. “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.”

Jill publicly revealed that there was a rift with her family in October 2020. In March, she said that she hadn’t been to her parents’ house in a “couple [of] years.”

“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,” the couple’s message continued. “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.”

The couple, who said that they learned of Counting On‘s cancellation via a text from a friend and a cousin at the same time the news was breaking publicly, noted that they “do not know how long the cancellation had been planned.”

“It’s been over four years now since we chose to step away from the show, and, although we were initially barred from sharing our decision to leave the show, we have opened up a little more recently on our social media,” they wrote. “… For now, we will move forward on our own terms, and we look forward to whatever opportunities the future holds.”

Counting On’s cancellation came amid Josh Duggar’s child porn case. Jill’s brother was arrested in Arkansas in April, and appeared in court after pleading not guilty to receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children.

Following the news, the Duggar parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, released a statement.

“Since we began filming so long ago, we’ve had the amazing honor to share our lives, our faith, and our story with you — including some of the most difficult and painful moments our family has ever faced,” the statement read in part. “We are full of deep gratitude for the love shown to us and the prayers of so many who have sustained us both now and through the years.”

Meanwhile, Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo said in part, “We wholeheartedly agree with TLC’s decision not to renew Counting On and are excited for the next chapter of our lives.”

In May, Josh was released from an Arkansas detention center after making the request. However, he was not allowed to return home to his pregnant wife, Anna, and their six children. Josh faces up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.

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