The Untold Truth Of Amy Duggar

Everything was going very well for Amy Duggar until around 2015, when the news broke that her cousin Josh had molested five underage girls. The scandal created a fissure within the ultra-conservative Christian family, with Amy, the more liberal Duggar, encouraged to pick a side. To that point, Amy had played lead in two spinoff episodes of her family's hit TLC reality show, 19 and Counting. Her star was rising in Nashville as a young country music singer, and she'd already begun dating her now husband, Dillon King—even though their pre-marital canoodling violated the strict Duggar family courtship rules (side-hugs only). Amy and Dillon are now cast members of WE tv's reality show Marriage Boot Camp, dropping a bombshell before the first episode even aired. Take a look at Amy Duggar's very public highs and lows.

Going to Nashville

Amy Duggar King is known as the black sheep of her fundamentalist Christian family, the Duggars, made famous on the now-canceled TLC reality show 19 and Counting, which ran from 2008 to 2015. Amy's mother is the sister of Duggar patriarch Jim Bob, the father 19 of Amy's cousins. She appeared on several episodes of the show, and spun off for two specials including one titled "A Duggar Leaves Home" in which the young Lafayette, Arkansas, native left The Natural State for Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career as a country music singer. On "A Duggar Leaves Home," Amy meets with famed music producer Jamie Slocum, who tells her that her singing is "horrifically awful." In the episode, Amy performs a live gig, which ends up being a disaster. Unfazed and hell-bent on following her dream, Amy Duggar released an album titled Amy Jordyn in 2006. Listen here, and you be the judge.

Amy won't pay up

After "A Duggar Leaves Home" aired, in June 2014, the music producer Jamie Slocum, who helped Amy realize her goal of becoming a country music star, spoke out against his student, who he believes to be cheap. Duggar's manager (whom she fired) on 19 and Counting, helped the reality star negotiate a much bigger contract for her two spinoff specials, including "A Duggar Leaves Home." After discovering that Amy was receiving significantly more money per episode of the new show, Slocum—who wrote songs for Amy to sing and is credited as an associate producer on the episodes—wanted to be paid commiserate with Amy's new contract. In an interview with Radar Online, Slocum said, "Now that there is bigger money coming down the line they just want me to go away. They don't want to pay me because they are very cheap. They thought I was just trying to be nice ... They basically decided to tell me to take a hike after I doubled their fee." Understandably upset and feeling slighted, Slocum said that he was considering taking the Duggars to court. "They could get their butt sued off for doing what they are doing," he told Radar Online.

The bad influence

Two years after her Nashville specials aired, Amy responded to a question on her Instagram, implying that her Duggar relatives consider her to be a bad influence on their straight-laced, conservative children. When one of her fans asked if Amy's cousin ever come over to her house to watch TV and stay the night, Amy responded by saying, "Hey there! we've had a girls night before and have gone out to eat. It's a rule though that if I want to spend quality time with them I have to come see them. They don't want me to influence them."

And while Amy may have strayed from the Arkansas homestead to pursue a career in music, she still holds many of the same Christian values as her extended family. On Instagram, Amy wrote, "It used to really bother me and then I realized that I just live knowing that God gives us grace. I can only be myself and even though we don't see eye to eye on every little thing we are still family and I do still love them. :)." Those same values were challenged publicly when—after a 2006 police report—Amy's cousin Josh was accused of molesting five underage girls in 2002, four of whom were his sisters.

Josh Duggar allegations

It's impossible to accurately describe the life of Amy Duggar without discussing the molestation accusations leveled against her cousin and fellow Lafayette native Josh Duggar. According to a 33-page police report obtained by In Touch magazine through a Freedom of Information Act request, one of the five alleged assault victims notified Josh's father, Jim Bob Duggar, that Josh had been touching her genitals and breasts while she was asleep. Josh was 14 at the time. It then came to light that other incidents with other girls had occurred, and Jim Bob sent his son away to a Christian training center for rehabilitative counseling at the advice of church elders.

In an exclusive statement given to People magazine in 2015, when all this news became public, Josh Duggar wrote, "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends." Jim Bob's handling of the situation also came under fire when it was discovered that in 2003, he took his son to see Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens. According to In Touch, "Hutchens did not take any official action and instead gave Josh a 'very stern talk.'" In May 2012, Hutchens was sentenced to 56 years in prison on child pornography charges. Josh Duggar was never brought up on charges for sexual abuse. Then, just months after the 2002 incidents came to light in 2015, Duggar admitted to cheating on his wife after it was revealed he had signed up for the Ashley Madison dating website. Amy Duggar is not her cousin, and his reprehensible actions should in no way represent her way of thinking, but Josh Duggar has cast a considerable shadow on the family name.

Airing grievances

Only one month after the episode "A Duggar Leaves Home" aired on TLC, Amy met Dillon King. On Instagram—under his handle @kingdillpickle—Dillon captioned a photo of him and Amy with the date they met, July 2014, though little is known about the circumstances of that night. One year later, Amy and Dillon were engaged. On Sunday, September 6, 2015, the two were married in a ceremony at Horton Farms near Bentonville, Arkansas, one town over from where Amy grew up. Amy's uncle and aunt attended the wedding with several of their children, though the Duggars exited once the reception and partying began. In January of this year, less than a year and a half after getting hitched, the couple premiered on season nine of WE tv's Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars 7. Before the first episode aired, a teaser was released in which, during a previously taped counseling session on the program, Amy said that she had been physically abused by her father growing up.

She recounted one incident, saying on the show, "My dad was like, 'Amy, did you brush your teeth?' And I was like, 'Yeah daddy.' And he was like, 'No you didn't.' And he picked me up by my throat, all the way up to the ceiling. He was like, 'You will brush your teeth." Amy went on to say that she "things flown in the air, I've been called every name in the book." She even recalled the time her father "tried to run me over with a car. It scared me half out of my mind."

Misleading editing

The revelation that Amy's father had assaulted her during her childhood came as a shock to members of the Marriage Boot Camp show as well as viewers nationwide, and even Dillon was surprised by the extent of the alleged abuse. As Fox News reported, "For Dillon, who didn't know about the incident until that moment, he wanted audiences to know that their time on a reality TV series wasn't a quest for fame." In advance of the airing of the teaser, Amy had already told the media that she had been physically assaulted, but did not identify the person.

People on social media thought that Amy's then-unnamed abuser was actually Dillon, which Amy debunked in a December 2016 Twitter post, writing, "The story I was describing in the Marriage Bootcamp teaser does not involve Dillon in any way. #Ilovemyhusband." After the teaser aired, Amy fired back at the show on Twitter claiming that through misleading editing, WE tv had twisted her words to make the abuse sound more severe than it actually was, which hurt her relationship with her family. Between the manufactured drama on the show and her connection to the misdeeds of her cousin Josh, Amy's public image has been unfairly maligned, and in fact, she and Dillon appear to be quite happy.

Duggar family rule book

Growing up in a fundamentalist Christian household comes with a long list of dating no-nos. For Jim Bob and Michelle, Amy's uncle and aunt, those no-nos are enumerated in a strict list of courtship rules, including no kissing before marriage and, until vows are exchanged, no physical contact outside of hand-holding and side hugs. Jim Bob and Michelle even chaperone virtual dates with their children. By any stretch, these rules are restrictive, and Amy does not believe in them, widening the moral divide between her and her extended family. "I think kissing before marriage should happen," she said told People magazine. "What if you get married and then that connection isn't there?"

Pre-marital sex

What's worse than kissing before marriage? That would be pre-marital sex. Though Amy carries the Duggar name, she is decidedly less conservative that her cousins. As reported in Amy's People magazine cover story, "Amy shares that neither she nor Dillon were virgins when they met, but she wouldn't change a thing. 'I think that if I was a virgin on my wedding night and had never been kissed, I would end up rocking in the corner! That is so much emotion all at once.'" Before meeting Dillon, Amy says she dated a lot of "frogs" before finding Prince Charming. "I used to date bodybuilder types. But they just turned out to be one dud after another," she told People. "I can at least count six guys I've dated. As soon as I discovered a major flaw like a temper or anything like that, I realized really quickly I didn't need that in my life." Even though she decided to wait until their wedding night to sleep with Dillon, she's happy with her choice. "It looked like I jumped from guy to guy, but I'm glad I dated that much before marriage because it showed me what kind of characteristics I wanted to find and the personalities that worked well with mine."

Born out of wedlock

To her great credit, Amy took to Instagram to address the fact that she was born out of wedlock—something many in the church consider a Scarlett Letter, despite it being no fault of the child at all. "The tabloids are telling the truth, my mom and dad did have me out of wedlock," she wrote. "I'm extremely grateful to my mom for choosing to give me life. I'm sure she was scared, young, ridiculed, and felt ashamed. God's grace covered it though! She's beautiful inside and out. I'm also grateful that I have such an awesome relationship with my dad! Seriously he's the greatest!" At the beginning of the post she wrote, "Just because I share the Duggar name doesn't mean my life is perfect!" Given the 2002 molestation allegations against Josh and the subsequent cover-up by his father, Jim Bob, it's fair to say that the Duggars are not perfect, and if anything Amy is more so.

Dillon's DWIs

According to an Arkansas law enforcement source who spoke to Radar Online, Dillon King is no saint, either. He was arrested in 2011 for DWI, then two years later, he was cited again for DWI. As the article points out, "According to state law, he likely served jail time after his second offense." But Dillon King's issues with the law seem to be behind him, and his relationship with Amy appears strong, even though the two are on Marriage Boot Camp. It wasn't Dillon's drinking or Amy's past traumas that lead them to the show. According to an exclusive interview with Life & Style magazine, it's Dillon's tone of voice that drove Amy to seek counseling. "His tone drives me completely crazy sometimes, like absolutely insane," she says.