A family crisis can make or break a bond between those caught up in the whirlwind.
If there were every a family crisis, it is the Josh Duggar trial and how inexplicably linked the charges are to Josh’s history, relatives, and upbringing.
Disturbingly, some have supported Josh the entire time, but there are multiple reasons to attend Josh’s trial.
Derick and Jim Bob ended up face-to-face in court. Will this horror show mend their feud?
Since Josh Duggar’s trial began, his brother-in-law Derick Dillard has been seated in court.
Derick isn’t just filling in at the back — he has been seated next to Anna, Josh’s wife, since the trial began.
On Tuesday, December 7, there was a bit of a change in routine.
Jim Bob reportedly approached his daughter-in-law while the court was on a brief recess.
At the time, Jim Bob and Derick came into close proximity with one another.
After years of bitter feelings, estrangement, and public feuding, one truly wishes that this reunion had been caught on camera.
Instead, we must rely upon The Sun‘s eyewitness account of the exchange.
According to their reporter in the courtroom, Jim Bob approached Anna and passed by Derick in the process.
Upon seeing his estranged son-in-law, Jim Bob simply said “hello.”
Derick reportedly replied with a faint “hi” in return.
Jim Bob then went on to hug his daughter-in-law, with whom he is said to have had conflict earlier this year after Josh’s arrest.
He did not simply hug her and leave.
Jim Bob remained in the first row, at which point Derick moved to the back.
There, he sat with another Duggar family group.
That group included Jana Duggar, Jason Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar, and Joy’s husband, Austin Forsyth.
The reporter’s observation was that the general tone and vibe from the assortment of Duggars was “awkward and cold.”
Even after the break ended, Derick did not return to the front row to sit beside Anna.
There was, the reporter notes, space available for him to have returned if he had wished to do so.
Derick and Jill have been at odds with Jim Bob for some time.
Part of the conflict has clearly arisen from Jim Bob’s longtime dishonesty about various things, including finances.
The Duggars who appeared on reality television were told that they were doing this as a form of service, while Jim Bob pocketed TLC paychecks.
It cannot be ignored that this is also the family that betrayed and traumatized Derick’s wife, Jill.
The couple have stepped away from many aspects of the Duggars and their cult, with plans to enroll their children in actual schools.
Jill has been banned from visiting her siblings at the Duggar house without Jim Bob present. So yes, things have been tense.
This spring, Josh Duggar was arrested for receiving and possessing photos and videos of unthinkable child sexual abuse.
At the time, Jill and Derick stated that they “hope justice is done.”
It’s a vague comment, but they were more specific than many other relatives, many of whom said nothing at all.
“We’re very sad about the whole thing, it’s horrible. It’s all very sad,” Jill expressed at the time.
“Obviously if there is anything there related to child pornography,” Derick chimed in, “we hope that justice is done.”
“I don’t think anybody supports child pornography,” he then added.
Obviously, child pornography is a colloquial term but a misnomer than many survivors of childhood sexual abuse have asked the world to stop using.
CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) is calling it what it is.
Just as we don’t call shoplifting unauthorized discounting and we don’t call slavery nonconsensual gardening, words matter — especially for survivors.
“We’re sad for Anna,” Derick reflected at the time.
“Put yourself in her situation,” he suggested, “and imagine how you would feel if that happened with your family member.”
Derick speculated: “I imagine it would be really hard.”
Perhaps that swell of sympathy is why he has been spending time with Anna.
But that doesn’t mean that he’s making his peace with Jim Bob.
While Jill was also spotted having a “serious” talk with her dad, we wouldn’t hold our breath for a reconciliation — and frankly, we wouldn’t recommend that she try for it.