Jill Duggar Reveals In New Documentary She Did Not Want To Film Her Son’s Birth

The former Counting On star also claimed that she was never paid by her father Jim Bob Duggar for filming her life.

by Jen McGuire

When Jill Duggar Dillard welcomed her oldest son Israel with husband Derrick in 2015, she went through 70 hours of labor. She had her husband by her side throughout the ordeal, her mom Michelle Duggar, and her older sister Jana. And cameras provided by TLC to document her birth despite the fact that she did not want it be filmed for her family’s reality series Counting On. Now eight years later, the mom of three has opened up in the new Amazon Prime documentary Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets about that experience and the aftermath we didn’t see play out on TV at the time.

Jill’s birth experience with Israel in 2015 was filmed for the family’s TLC reality series Counting On, which was something she was not planning on allowing to happen. Her sister-in-law Anna Duggar’s birth was filmed on the previous TLC series 19 Kids & Counting, which was canceled after Anna’s husband Josh Duggar admitted to molesting four of his younger sisters. Jill “didn’t want to go through what Anna went through,” her husband Derrick explained in the four-part documentary. Jill agreed, saying that she wanted to know “for sure, like, nobody’s in my delivery room. Like nobody. And nobody’s there for the labor, like watching me. I don’t want any of that.”

Unfortunately for her, she was overruled.

After doing their best to stand their ground and welcome their first born child in private, Derrick explained, “We basically lost. They’re going to get what they want.” Producers did not join the couple while Jill was laboring, but they did provide them with cameras and expected them to document the event themselves to later air on TV. Which they did, over several days. “We did diary cams,” Jill, who has gone on to welcome 6-year-old son Samuel and 1-year-old son Freddy, recalled. “We did a lot of work. So they still got the footage.”

The couple eventually parted ways with the TLC series Counting On in 2017. The series itself was canceled in 2021 after Josh Duggar was arrested on child pornography charges. After six seasons of filming their lives and being forced to allow footage of her birth despite her objections, Jill claimed in the documentary that she was never paid by her father Jim Bob Duggar. In fact, according to Jill, none of the family was paid for filming their lives. “I never received any payout — no check, no cash, no nothing. For seven and a half years of my adult life, I was never paid,” Jill alleged in the documentary.

Her parents released a statement the day before the documentary aired on their website, writing, “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. Like other families, ours too has experienced the joys and heartbreaks of life, just in a very public format. 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 did not confirm, deny, or address their daughter’s allegations in their statement