2021 was a big year for the Duggar family.
There were legal issues, shocking revelations, rumored splits, lines drawn in the sand, a surprise campaign, and more.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar officially lost their second long-term reality TV show due to Josh Duggar, and it looks like a third won’t be an option with the TLC network.
After a massive baby boom, only three Duggar grandchildren were born in 2021.
Two of the Duggar boys were married off, and fans won’t get to see the weddings or get to know the spouses as they have the older siblings who married and built families while 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On were airing.
There were some shocking moments for the Duggars, and these are the ones that piqued the interest of critics and fans alike in 2021.
Josh Duggar’s arrest in April 2021
Josh Duggar was taken into custody at the Washington County Detention Center at the end of April. He was charged with possessing and receiving child pornography.
When news broke about what happened, the Duggars were thrust back into the spotlight, much like they had been in May 2015. Josh had again disgraced the family and cost them their show once again. Counting On was canceled following the arrest of Josh and the details about his charges being made public.
After a few days behind bars, Josh was granted bail. His conditions were that he had to be released to third-party guardians, not have any contact with minor children, including his siblings, but excluding his biological children, and he wasn’t allowed access to the Internet.
He remained living with Lacount and Maria Reber until his trial concluded in December 2021, when he was taken back into custody following a guilty verdict.
Jim Bob Duggar’s political run for Arkansas Senate
Ahead of Josh Duggar’s trial, Jim Bob Duggar announced he was running for the Arkansas Senate. This was a huge shock given the scrutiny his family was under because of his eldest son’s misdeeds.
Jim Bob didn’t shy away, though. He even hosted an event at the big house while Josh Duggar’s trial was underway.
Despite all of the effort he put into the race, Jim Bob Duggar did not win the race earlier this month.
Derick Dillard called Jim Bob Duggar ‘verbally abusive’
After years of subtle shade and talking about the rift between himself, Jill Duggar, and her parents, Derick Dillard called out his father-in-law in a Facebook comment.
On a post made by Jim Holt on the day of the Arkansas Senate vote, Derick commented about Jim Bob and threw out some pretty intense accusations and insults. He accused his father-in-law of being “verbally abusive” and mentioned human trafficking. It was a shocking comment, even though his views on Jill’s family have been clear for years.
Jill Duggar has been less vocal about her issues with her family, but Derick Dillard has been speaking out for years. He was the one to confirm the rift between them and the Duggars after revealing he and Jill needed permission to visit the big house. From there, the couple did some Q&A sessions on their YouTube channel and talked more in-depth about the situation and their choice to walk away from Counting On in 2017.
Josh Duggar’s guilty verdict
After more than a week-long trial earlier this month, Josh Duggar was found guilty on both charges. He was taken directly into custody and remains at the Washington County Correctional facility in solitary confinement. Josh will be there until his sentencing, which is expected to happen in April 2022.
The trial lasted over a week, with the prosecution taking significantly longer than the defense with their witnesses and presentation. Several members of the Duggar family attended the trial, including Derick Dillard, Austin Forsyth, Joy-Anna Duggar, Anna Duggar, Justin Duggar, and Jason Duggar. Jim Bob Duggar, Jana Duggar, and Jill Duggar all attended the day, where closing arguments were heard.
Once it was announced that Josh had been found guilty, Anna Duggar rushed out after seeing her husband being led away in handcuffs. She was escorted out by Hilary Spivey, Claire Spivey’s mom, and Jim Bob Duggar.
Since the verdict on December 9, Anna has not broken her silence. She has remained out of the spotlight since Josh’s arrest in April. She is staying with the Duggars right now as they wait to see what happens with Josh. He and Anna shared seven children, with the youngest born back in October.
Several of the Duggar sisters released statements about the verdict. All of them were victims of Josh’s from the incident that happened when he was a teen, and while Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald mostly stuck to the script, the other three sisters were harsher with their words. Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo called Josh a “hypocrite,” Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth said they believed the verdict was correct, and Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard were very straightforward.
Jana Duggar charged with endangering the welfare of a minor
When news broke that Jana Duggar had been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, Duggar critics and fans were shocked. The announcement came shortly after Josh Duggar’s verdict came back, and it sent everything reeling.
Amy Duggar King was the first family member to comment about Jana’s legal issue, sending her love to her cousin and giving more insight into what happened. Following Amy’s comments, James and Jason Duggar both shared “I support Jana Duggar” photos and shared them to their Instagram stories.
From there, Jessa Duggar spoke out and chastised people for commenting on the situation and even got a bit snarky in her response. She said she would allow Jana to watch her kids and basically asked people to move on and stop talking about the incident.
Jana Duggar finally decided to speak out about the incident. She revealed a child slipped away and confirmed it was a mistake. She publicly admitted what happened on Instagram and seemed to take full responsibility for what happened. Jana is due in court on the charge in January, and she confirmed she was never arrested, just cited.
As for the victim, their identity will remain anonymous as they are a minor, and that information is never made public.
It’s been a tough year for the Duggar family as a whole. From their legal issues to the deep family divide, 2022 is likely a welcome change from the one they have been living in.