“Jill’s a brave girl. And I think that her coming out and telling her story … I’m so glad that she’s found her voice and I love and support her,” Jinger, 29, said while appearing on the Tamron Hall Show on Tuesday, September 12, with her husband, Jeremy Vuolo. “I know that is the hardest thing to do.”
Jinger noted she can relate to Jill, 32, because she previously released her memoir Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear about her experience with the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP).
“Having just gone through that process, even, I don’t know if it would be a smaller scale, maybe,” the 19 Kids and Counting alum continued. “We are sharing our stories in even different ways, but I am just so glad that she is finding her voice and able to communicate what’s been on her heart for so many years.”
After Jinger noted that she didn’t speak to Jill much while writing her memoir, Tamron, 52, asked if she was aware that Jill believed their father, Jim Bob Duggar, treated her worse than their eldest brother, Josh Duggar, despite his troubled past.
“It’s so heartbreaking just to hear even what she shared of her own experience,” she said. “These family things are so hard and they really rip you to the core.”
In the book, which was released on September 12, Jill reflected on how Jim Bob, 58, and her mother, Michelle Duggar, protected Josh following his molestation scandal in which Jill was one of his victims. “Though I love my parents and it made a lot of sense that they would want to protect and care for their child, I couldn’t help but think about the lengths that Pops had gone to in order to guard Josh’s privacy and keep him from being publicly humiliated,” the Counting On alum explained.
After being estranged from her family, Jill reunited with her parents to discuss their relationship with a mediator. During the meeting, Jim Bob told her that she was “guilty” after she claimed he was verbally abusive. Jill then burst into tears and said the Duggar patriarch was upset she was “evolving.” She then told him, “You treat me worse than you treat my pedophile brother.”
Jill concluded the book by explaining that her relationship with her parents isn’t what it once was, though she’s hopeful they can improve their dynamic.
Meanwhile, Jim Bob and Michelle broke their silence about the book just three days before it was released.
“We love all of our children very much. As with any family, few things are more painful than conflicts or problems among those you love,” the couple said in a statement to People on September 9. “We do not believe the best way to resolve conflicts, facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation, or to communicate through difficulties is through the media or in a public forum so we will not comment.”