Does Jill Duggar talk to her parents Jim Bob and Michelle? An update following 'Shiny Happy People'

With the Duggar Family doc out now, we're all wondering: 'Does Jill Duggar talk to her parents, or are they estranged?' Here's what we know about the family dynamics

Does Jill Duggar talk to her parents? Pictured: Jill Duggar in Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets
(Image credit: Prime Video)

Does Jill Duggar talk to her parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar?

After several years of tension, Jill Duggar Dillard revealed in a 2021 YouTube video that she and her husband, Derick, were attempting to mend wounds with her family's matriarch and patriarch.

"We’ve had some disagreements and stuff, but we’re working towards healing definitely and restoration, but we’re having to kind of just take some time and heal and just doing what’s best for our family right now and just working through it," Jill said in the clip. 

Fast-forward two years, following Josh Duggar's scandal and the release of Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets. The docu-series hit Prime Video on Friday, June 2, and includes interviews with Jill and Derick, among others close to the family, who get candid about the toxicity we didn't see in TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, as well as the problematic Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBPL) teachings that the family adheres to. 

Given the revelations from the project—and Jill's forthcoming book plans—we're all curious about where she stands with her family today. 

Does Jill Duggar talk to her parents Jim Bob and Michelle?

Judging from their conversations in Shiny Happy People, Jill and Derick are not currently on speaking terms with Jim Bob and Michelle. 

“There’s been some distancing there. We’re not on the best terms with some of the family," Derick said. For her part, Jill alleged that "everything within the family dynamic has shifted—and not for the better." 

However, even though she is not in touch with her parents, she remains close to some of her siblings, particularly Jana, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna.

"We always had such a tight bond between the sisters and so, I keep in contact with all of them often because it's so easy to just be able to FaceTime even though I'm so far away from them," Jinger Duggar told E! News. "We still have close relationships."

What went wrong between Jill and her parents?

Things have not always been easy for the Duggar children, particularly those who questioned the family's ultra-orthodox beliefs. But religious teachings were far from the only things they had to grapple with. 

In the documentary, Jill spoke about the pressure she felt to uphold the family's image, particularly after it was discovered that her older brother, Josh, had molested young children, herself included. Additionally, Jill was not interested in participating in the family's spinoff series, Counting On, and she and her husband allege that they received anonymous text messages with threats for not wanting to go along with their family's plans. She also said she and her siblings were not paid for their participation in the TLC series, 19 Kids and Counting. 

Back in 2017, Jessa, Jill, Joy and Jinger sued Springdale and Washington County officials in 2017, claiming they improperly released redacted police investigation documents to In Touch, a lawsuit that was dismissed by a federal judge in 2022, per Arkansas Online. According to E! News, Jill revealed during the November 2021 filing that her father's behavior had become "toxic" and that he was "verbally abusive" when she and her husband decided to do what works best for them, and not the family's image. 

"I saw a whole new side to my dad once my husband and I started making decisions that were best for our family, but not in his best interest. Sadly, I realized he had become pretty controlling, fearful and reactionary."

Jill and her husband are to release a book in January 2024 with Simon & Schuster titled Counting the Cost, a play on the TLC series. According to the memoir's description, "Jill Duggar and her husband Derick are finally ready to share their story, revealing the secrets, manipulation, and intimidation behind the show that remained hidden from their fans."

Likewise, singer Jinger Duggar Vuolo released her own story in 2023, Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear. In it, she "recounts how she began to question the unhealthy ideology of her youth and learned to embrace true freedom in Christ."

Counting the Cost: a Memoir by Jill Duggar with Derick Dillard & Craig Borlase (January 16, 2024)

Counting the Cost: a Memoir by Jill Duggar with Derick Dillard & Craig Borlase (January 16, 2024)
<a href="" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$18.08 | Pre-order from Amazon

Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear by Jinger Duggar Vuolo

Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear by Jinger Duggar Vuolo
<a href="" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$18.33 | Amazon

Ahead of the documentary's release, Jim Bob and Michelle put out a statement condemning the "derogatory and sensationalized" project and said: "We love every member of our family and will continue to do all we can to have a good relationship with each one."

Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is now streaming on Prime Video.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.