Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have largely remained out of the spotlight following their canceled TLC reality franchise, but a Prime Video docuseries brought their controversial beliefs and many familial scandals back to the forefront.
We know the infamous pair from TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, which ran from 2008 to 2015. It depicted the ultra-conservative family's life and foundation in The Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). With exposure came controversy, the subject of Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, which premiered on Prime Video on Friday, June 2.
"As details of the family and their scandals unfold, we realize they’re part of an insidious, much-larger threat already in motion, with democracy itself in peril," the doc's description reads.
Now that the exposé has landed on the streaming service—and Shiny Happy People even includes an interview with one of the family's estranged daughters, Jill Duggar—where are Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar now? Here's everything we know.
Who are Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar?
A brief refresher: Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar wed in 1984, shortly after they graduated from high school, and they welcomed their first of 19 children, Josh, in 1988. They follow the strict teachings of IBLP, a ministry forbidding its followers from acts including wearing denim, watching TV, and even winking. In IBLP, children are homeschooled, denied a secular education, wed young and are removed from worldly teachings, ideas and culture.
Although the Duggars' viewpoints alone are enough to raise eyebrows (and cause comparisons to other shows about cults), scandal broke in 2015 when news hit that their eldest child, Josh, had molested underage children, some of which were his own sisters. The TLC series was canceled as a result that year, and though Josh Duggar wasn't legally punished for those crimes, he was later found guilty of downloading explicit images depicting child sexual abuse. Josh Duggar was sentenced to 12.5 years behind bars in 2022.
A photo posted by on
Where are Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar today?
“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," the statement read.
It continued: "We have always believed that the best chance to repair damaged relationships, or to reconcile differences, is through love in a private setting. We love every member of our family and will continue to do all we can to have a good relationship with each one. Through both the triumphs and the trials we have clung to our faith all the more and discovered that through the love and grace of Jesus, we find strength, comfort, and purpose."
These days, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar remain living on their compound in Tontitown, Arkansas, with several of their children, including Jana Duggar and Josh's wife, Anna, and his seven children.
Despite the many controversies that befell the Duggar clan, the family had sought out a spinoff on TLC, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, which ended quickly after it started in 2021. Jill, who is married to Derrick Dillard, recalled her refusal to participate in the series as the first time she said no to her family, something she feared because of the IBPL teachings.
Jill has been in the spotlight for adapting to a more secular way of life, which caused a rift between her and her family. She appears in Shiny Happy People, where she and her husband allege that he received threatening texts from an anonymous caller that attacked the way he supposedly betrayed Jim Bob for living their lives differently from the matriarch and patriarch's wishes.
But judging from the Duggar Family website, you wouldn't guess that they have experienced anything controversial. The site includes an introduction to all their family members and their spouses, Josh included, and advice from Jim Bob and Michelle about staying faithful and strong in your marriage. In Michelle's blog, we catch her tips for a successful union, some of which include, "A man needs a wife who honors his leadership" and "A man needs a wife who develops inward and outward beauty."
The family also shares regular updates, including an Israeli vacation in 2023, wedding announcements, graduation photos and more.
Watch the 'Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets' trailer:
Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is now streaming on Prime Video. And here is a list of other true crime documentaries available for streaming.
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.
I am blush *obsessed* and this easy multi-use pick always gets me compliments
As a self-proclaimed blush connoisseur, I swear by ILIA's cheek and lip stick and hopefully, when my work is done, you will too.
By Naomi Jamieson Published
Emma Chamberlain just debuted the ultimate sexy chic updo—and the wispy look is perfect for fall
If you've been looking for a new, signature hair look for fall, Emma Chamberlain may have just come *through* for you...
By Naomi Jamieson Published