After years of virtually non-stop scandal, you would think all members of the Duggar family would be experts at hiding their dirty laundry.
But while the children of Jim Bob and Michelle might, from a young age, receive media training alongside their Bible instruction, the men and women who marry into the Counting On clan may not be as well-versed in the pitfalls of public life.
Take Derick Dillard, for example.
Jill Duggar’s husband has been a thorn in the side of his in-laws for the past several months, having apparently developed a taste for the spotlight following a series of ugly controversies.
First, Derick launched an attack against Jazz Jennings on social media.
Jennings is a transgender teen, who, like Derick, is the star of a TLC reality show.
Derick took a lot of flak for bullying a 16-year-old girl on Twitter and Instagram, but he also received a smattering of praise from fans who share his ultra-conservative views.
And it seems that was all the encouragement he needed.
These days, Derick seems to have been emboldened, baiting his more left-leaning followers with claims that America is the least racist country in the world, and Bible verses that he claims support his views on the subservience of women.
Recently, Derick voiced his support for Donald Trump, thus becoming one of the first members of the extended Duggar clan to publicly back a candidate whose views and behaviors often don’t align with the family’s Christian values.
The upside of all the attention is that Derick is doing his part to help his in-laws remain relevant.
The downside is that like the Donald, Derick now finds himself in the position of defending himself against allegations of sexual misconduct.
But instead of issuing a series of sternly-worded denials like Trump, Derick seems to be conceding that he behaved inappropriately behind his wife’s back.
For several weeks now fans have been convinced that Derick is cheating on Jill, and his reaction to the rumors has only caused confusion.
Derick has been tweeting non-stop Bible quotes about adultery, masturbation, and prostitutes, and many believe it’s his way of confessing that he was unfaithful to Jill.
"He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.” (Proverbs 29:3)” Derick tweeted this week.
Perhaps on its own, the passage wouldn’t have raised many eyebrows.
But it comes on the heels of a number of verses about the evils of adultery, as well as a link to an article instructing readers on how to abstain from masturbation.
But while Derick appears to be unburdening himself through confession on Twitter, his wife is on Instagram, assuring fans that all is well:
Jill posted the above photo this week, along with a caption reading:
“I [heart] you @derickdillard Ladies, find someone who loves Jesus and takes care of you like this guy does me.
“He made dinner and had the room candlelit for our date tonight. After a stressful last hour leading up to kiddos bedtime (which got extended due to cranky babies not wanting to sleep! Ha!), @derickdillard you made me feel so cherished.”
Sounds like Jill and Der have very different ideas about where their relationship is headed.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial couple.