They’re the duck-calling, bird-hunting, ratings-busting phenomenon known as “Duck Dynasty.”
The patriarch, Phil Robertson, leads the down-to-earth millionaires for the everyman clan into the homes of millions each week, and ever by his side is wife Kay.
But now, audiences are getting a rare glimpse at their life before fame and fortune, seeing the demons that preceded the dynasty in a candid new film out this week by the Christian group “I Am Second.”
The Robertsons reveal their very personal struggles with the alcohol and infidelity that almost broke them apart.
“I got in a barroom brawl, the laws got after me. I went to the woods, of course,” Phil explained in a dramatic, dimly lit interview.
“The drinking got worse,” Kay added. “And I knew then but I didn’t want to believe it; [he] was running around on me. And what I would tell my boys all the time is, ‘That’s not your daddy. That’s the devil in your daddy.’”
They say their lives turned around when Kay convinced Phil to meet with a pastor. “I’ve been fighting for this marriage for a long time and it’s working,” Kay said.
That was the beginning, they say, and then Phil invented his famous duck call, the Duck Commander, which turned into a million-dollar business and now the phenomenally popular reality show.
“Part of the show’s appeal,” Hollywood Reporter executive editor Mathew Belloni said, “has always been that they have this extraordinary wealth, but they also have issues that regular families deal with, and they deal with it in a very honest and open way.”
Phil says all the credit goes to God.
“We would all be better off if we loved God,” he said, “and loved each other.”