The truth about Jill Duggar's husband

When Jill Duggar introduced 19 Kids & Counting viewers to her future husband, Derick Dillard, in April 2014, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Many fans were happy that Jill had found "the one," and many people applauded her choice. For starters, Dillard is a college graduate who held a lucrative accounting job at Walmart at the time of the couple's courtship. Additionally, Dillard came across as an even-keeled guy who treated Duggar and her family members well. Sounds like a catch, right? 

A few years following the couple's wedding in June 2014, however, the public's perception of Dillard took a turn for the worse. As for what changed people's minds, look no further than Dillard's controversial antics on social media, public fights with fellow TLC stars, and his rumored feud with Duggar's loved ones. 

But what's especially interesting about Dillard's strained relationship with fans is that the former reality star doesn't seem interested in repairing his tarnished image. In fact, Dillard seems intent on creating as much controversy as possible, as evidenced by his shocking claims against TLC in March 2018. From Dillard's allegation that TLC didn't pay him a salary, to the claim that the network forced him to film Counting On, he has no reservations about stirring the pot. But what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to Dillard's life? Here's the truth about Jill Duggar's husband.

What really happened with Walmart

Not too long after Dillard returned home to Arkansas in January 2014 following a period of missionary work in South Asia, he secured a tax accounting job at Walmart. Considering a tax accountant at Walmart can earn up to $49K annually, according to Glassdoor, fans assumed he and Duggar would have no problems supporting themselves financially outside of reality television. 

But just one year after Dillard snagged the coveted job, he unexpectedly left the company in June 2015. The change came to light on June 10, 2015, after Radar Online contacted Dillard via his work email at Walmart. Instead of a reply from Dillard, Radar Online received the following auto-reply message: "I have recently accepted a position outside of Walmart and am no longer working for the company." 

Although Dillard said he accepted a new position, many people suspected he was actually fired. The truth, however, is that Dillard did quit Walmart. "Mr. Dillard did leave the company on his own, made that decision," Kory Lundberg, a spokesperson for Walmart, revealed to Radar Online. Fans later learned that Dillard left Walmart to start his own ministry — Dillard Family Ministries. The ministry, which is no longer active, aimed to develop "human relief efforts" and to help "people spiritually through communication of the Word of God," according to Dillard's LinkedIn page. Hmm, we wonder if Dillard misses his Walmart employee discount. 

His family has been through a lot

Before Dillard met Duggar, he experienced a lot of hardships in his life. The first heartbreak Duggar ever suffered was when his father, police officer Rick Dillard, died at age 50 from a heart attack. Dillard, who was a freshman at Oklahoma State University when he learned the news, often pays tributes to Rick on social media. ""I never doubted that he loved me, and I'm forever grateful for the 19 years God gave me with him," Dillard captioned a June 2017 Instagram post featuring a throwback photo of Rick. "His godly example continues to teach me, even 9 years later." 

Sadly, Dillard faced another difficulty in 2014 when his mom, Cathy Byrum, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Dillard received the scary news just two weeks after he proposed to Duggar, according to The Christian Post. And due to Byrum's condition, she couldn't participate in many activities prior to the nuptials. Luckily for Byrum and her loved ones, however, she is four years cancer-free as of April 2018. Congrats, Mama Dillard! 

He claims TLC didn't pay him

One of Dillard's more controversial claims is that TLC never paid him nor his wife for their work on 19 Kids & Counting or Counting On. This allegation came to light when Dillard complained to his Twitter followers that TLC didn't foot the bill for his eldest son's delivery. 

"We [Duggar and Dillard] even requested that they help with some of the medical expenses from the birth that they made a pretty penny on, but they refused to help cover any of those costs," Dillard argued in a since-deleted tweet (via the Daily Mail). When a fan questioned Dillard's logic further, he replied: "We could pay for it fine... the point is, I thought that at least since they were making money off the birth special episode, they could help soften the burden a little." Hmm.

Of course, many fans pointed out that Duggar and Dillard's Counting On salaries could cover the costs (it's estimated that the family makes $25K to $40K per episode). But to people's surprise, Dillard claimed: "As far as we could tell we were volunteers and hadn't been paid anything for the show." Say what now, Dillard? It seems a bit odd that Dillard and Duggar would spend years working for free without any complaints. Either way, TLC has yet to release a statement about the legitimacy of Dillard's claims. We do find it telling, however, that Dillard has deleted the tweets. 

His supposed feud with Jeremy Vuolo

It's no secret that large families can have complicated dynamics. Case in point: It's rumored that Dillard doesn't get along with his brother-in-law, Jeremy Vuolo. Vuolo, who married Jinger Duggar in November 2016, supposedly doesn't like Dillard and Jill's ministry work abroad. 

Although it's somewhat difficult to break down Vuolo's so-called beef, it centers around the idea that Dillard and Duggar are unqualified to be missionaries (FYI: missionaries are people who promote Christianity in a foreign country). Vuolo seemed to touch on this subject in an April 2017 sermon about missionaries. "How many people have thought, 'Well, there's an open door for a church plant or mission endeavors, I'm going,' when they've never been established by a local church, they've never been confirmed by the people of God as possessing certain gifts?" Vuolo argued in the sermon. "They're just Lone Ranger types running around solo asking churches for money to support them." But wait — Vuolo's speech didn't stop there. Vuolo also called missionaries "unsent zealots." Yikes.

Interestingly enough, Michelle Duggar seemingly addressed the rumored feud in a June 2017 blog post. "Comparing ourselves to others, envy, and jealousy all lead down a road to bitterness," Michelle penned. "Bitterness can cause us to be harsh and to treat others unfairly. ... Let's choose joy!" Michelle's words must have hit home because in January 2018, the supposedly feuding couples hung out with one another. "#lovemysis," Duggar captioned a shot of the visit.

He's controversial on social media

If you follow Dillard on Instagram, you probably already know that he's a fan of stirring up drama on social media. Want proof? Look no further than Dillard's numerous posts about hot-button topics, like President Donald Trump's proposed border wall. Although each person is entitled to their own opinion, fans think Dillard crossed a major line when he used his son, Israel, to joke about Trump's border wall. 

"Israel helping Trump build 'The Wall' lol," Dillard captioned a shot of Israel playing with a wall of blocks and a toy construction truck. Unsurprisingly, many people weren't amused with the post. "So....now you use your son as a mask to hide behind so you can make your political comments," one person commented on the post. "This isn't appropriate to teach a child. Let him be a kid and don't use him for your political agenda," another person chimed in. 

But this instance wasn't the first time Dillard pissed people off. From a post featuring Dillard wearing Trump-inspired socks to a picture of his young son, Samuel, chewing on a potential choking hazard, he often finds ways to ruffle feathers. Who knows what Dillard will come up with next.

The deal with Dillard's family ministry

Dillard's work abroad is often subject to scrutiny. And to be fair, it's pretty understandable why people tend to question Dillard's motives given the conflicting reports about his now defunct ministry, Dillard Family Ministries. For starters, many fans wondered how Dillard was able to launch his own non-profit ministry without any qualifications. 

Although Dillard performed missionary work abroad prior to launching the ministry in June 2015, he never completed the 20 and 30 graduate hours from an accredited university one reportedly needs to get funding from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the International Mission Board (IMB). If a missionary doesn't have funding from these institutions, it isn't considered licensed. If a missionary isn't licensed, there's no way for a person to know where their donation is going or how it will be used. So, it's no shock that Dillard and Duggar were pressured by fans to refund ministry donations once it came to light that they were rejected as missionaries by the SBC. 

Despite the drama, Duggar and Dillard continued to ask for money from fans — but that was short-lived. "Beginning this month, we are discontinuing Dillard Family Ministries and will no longer be accepting donations through this organization," the couple explained in an August 2017 statement to the family's website. Maybe it was the for the best that Dillard and Duggar moved on — controversy isn't a good look. 

His interesting love story with Jill

On the surface, Dillard and Duggar's relationship unfolded in a pretty standard way. The two met, they dated (or courted, if you're familiar with Duggar speak), got engaged, and then they got hitched in June 2014. But if you look closer at Dillard's version of events, there's more to the couple's romance than meets the eye. More precisely, how they came to meet is pretty interesting.

Dillard admitted that he met Duggar through her father — Jim Bob Duggar — and that he owes his marriage to the patriarch. "When I was working in Nepal, Jill's dad was one of my prayer partners. We would talk every couple weeks or so to discuss how our work was going and what current prayer needs were," Dillard explained on his website. "Jill's dad would also mention periodically the work Jill was doing in her studies as a student midwife and her desire to someday use her skills overseas on the mission field. Being that we had similar life goals, she caught my attention." 

After "praying" about getting to know Duggar more, Dillard got the break he needed. "During a conversation with Jim Bob, he mentioned how he thought Jill and I might get along well, having similar personalities and direction in life," Dillard added. "He [Jim Bob] gave me Jill's phone number and we began texting, then emailing, then skyping/talking on the phone." Interesting, right? It's not every day that you get set up by your love interest's dad. 

He thinks transgender is a myth

Unfortunately, transgender I Am Jazz star Jazz Jennings often receives negative and offensive messages on Twitter. Although Jennings is used to the backlash, there's a good chance Derick Dillard's transphobic message caught her by surprise. Why, you ask? Well, Dillard and Jennings were both TLC stars at the time. It's kind of odd to attack a quasi-coworker out of nowhere, to say the least. So, what exactly did Dillard say to Jennings? 

Shortly after TLC tweeted a promo for I Am Jazz in August 2017, Dillard tweeted to Jazz (via E! Online). "What an oxymoron... a 'reality' show which follows a non-reality. Transgender is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God." Woof. To make matters even worse, Dillard also misgendered Jennings multiple times in subsequent tweets. Despite Dillard's hurtful remarks, he maintains he has no issues with Jennings. "I want to be clear. I have nothing against him," Dillard clarified (via People). "I only have issue with the words and definitions being propagated here."

To Jennings' credit, she took Dillard's comments in stride. "Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story," Jennings tweeted about the experience. "Today was no different." 

He doesn't support LGBTQ parents

Dillard often voices his controversial thoughts and opinions on Twitter. And prior to making his account private in May 2018, Dillard went on a verbal assault against famed interior designer Nate Berkus and his family. 

"What a travesty of family," Dillard commented on a photo featuring Berkus and his husband, Jeremiah Brent, with their young daughter, Poppy (via People). "It's sad how blatant the liberal agenda is, such that it both highlights and celebrates a lifestyle so degrading to children on public television as if it should be normal." Wow — sometimes there are no words, right? Interestingly enough, Dillard denied "bashing" Berkus when a fan questioned him about the tweet. "I'm not bashing the people, I'm just calling out the public agenda at play and how a network chooses what they highlight," Dillard added in his April 2018 tirade (via InTouch Weekly). "Christians should love all as Christ loved all."

As for what Berkus thinks about Dillard's "travesty" remark, he wrote on Twitter: "My hope with having a show like #NandJByDesign on @TLC, where we go into people's homes and welcome viewers into ours, is that we can start to break down barriers & normalize the way our family looks & the way our family loves." Well-said.

What happened with Counting On

Shortly after Dillard issued transphobic comments against Jennings, TLC released a statement in November 2017 addressing his future on Counting On. "We want to let our viewers know that Derick Dillard has not participated in Counting On for months and the network has no plans to feature him in the future," TLC tweeted. "We want to reiterate that Derick's personal statements do not reflect the views of the network. TLC is proud to share the story of Jazz Jennings and her family and will continue to do so." 

Although many people assumed that Dillard was fired from the show, he told fans in December 2017 that this wasn't the case. "Unbelievable what's considered newsworthy these days, but then again, this is how I first heard that I was 'fired,'" Dillard tweeted in reference to a Fox News article claiming he got the axe (via Christian Today). "For the record, I was never fired. I just felt it best for my family to cut ties months ago, as we are heading in a different direction." 

So, what's the real story here? The answer is that remains unclear. TLC has yet to address Dillard's December 2017 remark, and Dillard hasn't specified when he supposedly quit. It's important to note, however, that Duggar also left the show. If Duggar willingly left (and this seems to be the case) then it's likely that Dillard did too, and wasn't, in fact, fired. Still, we can't be certain about what happened here. Talk about a confusing situation.