Jill Duggar is opening up about where she stands with her brother Josh Duggar‘s wife, Anna Duggar, while he serves time in prison.
While promoting her new book, Jill, 32, shed light on her relationship with Anna, 35, who has continued to stand by Josh’s side following his 2021 arrest and subsequent conviction on child pornography charges. “I have no idea why Anna has decided to stay with Josh, and what she is dealing with there and everything,” Jill told Access Hollywood in a sneak peek of an interview airing Wednesday, September 13.
She continued: “I have no idea, and I’m just, I guess, watching with everybody else, kind of just what unfolds.”
When asked whether she’s spoken to Anna, Jill confessed that the two “have not been in contact” recently. “I have seen her on a few occasions, but I also want to respect [her]. I know she’s asked for some space, so we want to respect that as well,” she explained.
Jill’s journey in finding space from her own family has made her see Anna’s experience in a new light. “I think when you are learning to set boundaries in your own life, you also learn to respect other people’s boundaries,” she said. “So, I cannot imagine all that she’s going through, and I just want to also give her that space.”
Josh, 35, was found guilty of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material in December 2021. Throughout his trial, Anna was seen supporting her husband in court. She was present for his official sentencing in May 2022, where he was ordered to serve 151 months in prison. (Us Weekly confirmed earlier this year that Josh is expected to be released in October 2032 after his sentence was extended.)
Anna, for her part, has largely kept quiet about her husband’s scandal while raising their seven children: Mackynzie, 13, Michael, 12, Marcus, 10, Meredith, 8, Mason, 6, Maryella, 3, and Madyson, 22 months.
A source exclusively told Us in June 2022 that family is Anna’s “No. 1 priority” and always will be. “That will never change,” the insider noted, adding that Anna and Josh are still “very devout in their faith” despite his controversies. “[Anna’s] going to stand by her husband and she’s going to continue raising their kids to the best of her ability.”
One month prior, Josh’s cousin Amy Duggar attempted to send a message to Anna about her marriage. “Anna, I feel for you. No woman wants to be in your shoes,” Amy, 36, wrote via Instagram in May 2022. “You’re faced with an impossible decision and you’re being surrounded by the wrong kind of support. … You didn’t choose any of this, and your kids certainly didn’t either.”
Amy argued that the children will someday “be old enough to understand” what their father did. “You can’t protect them from the truth forever!” she wrote. “I’m saying all of this publicly so that when they do grow up, they will also know that they had family members shouting from the rooftops that they were worth protecting all along.”
Her plea then became more direct. “If no one else in your life is saying it, I need you to understand that there is no shame in divorcing Josh,” Amy wrote.
Amy and her mother, Deanna, recently bumped into Anna at a memorial for a mutual friend of the family. In a TikTok video uploaded last month, Amy said Anna asked for “space” when they saw each other.
“She obviously knows that I’m putting it out there that ‘Anna, you don’t have to be alone in this. We’re here for you, we’re gonna protect your children,’” Amy said in the clip. “But y’all … she does not want our help, she does not care for our help and she’s gonna do whatever Anna does.”