Four Duggar Sisters Sue In Touch for Invasion of Privacy


The federal lawsuit accuses InTouch Weekly magazine and Springdale and Washington County, Ark., of harming and humiliating the sisters in 2015 by releasing documents of confidential interviews of the molestations first reported to police in 2005. The sisters now claim that according to Arkansas laws, police are forbidden from sharing information pertaining to the sexual abuse of children.

The sisters - Jill Dillard, Joy Duggar, Jessa Seewald, and Jinger Vuolo - also sued the city of Springdale, Arkansas, and Washington County, Arkansas, which released investigative records to In Touch pursuant to a public records request. "Plaintiffs were also subject to the humiliation and extreme mental anguish of being publicly identified nation and world-wide as being victims of sexual abuse as minors and having the details of the most private and painful aspects of their lives released and published to friends, associates, and tens of millions of people throughout the United States and world". The problem is, as far as the Duggar sisters are concerned, is that any thorough police report on their complaints would, by necessity, contain enough information that an observer could identify them.

Four stars of the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting have reportedly filed lawsuits against their city and their local police department. But, considering that the Duggar family is unique (to put it mildly), it was pretty clear to In Touch Weekly's reporters that the perpetrator was Josh and the victims were his sisters.

Their brother Josh confessed to having molested four of his sisters and a babysitter after In Touch published a 2006 police report and apologized for his actions. "It is unfortunate that now, at this late date, the plaintiffs have chosen to file a misguided lawsuit against dedicated public servants and are seeking damages from public tax dollars".

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As a result, the Duggars' show, "19 Kids and Counting", was canceled, and Josh entered a rehab program.

The Duggar sisters claimed in their lawsuit that the decision of city officials and police to release the molestation documents to In Touch magazine violated Arkansas laws that forbid police and city officials from disclosing information relating to sexual misconduct involving minors. In Touch said that when it broke the news in May of 2015, it did not name the Duggar sisters as victims. The aftermath is not the reason why they've filed the lawsuit, the sisters have said, noting that they're doing it to protect the rights of other minors.

"I see it as a victimization that's even a thousand times worse, because this was something that was already dealt with".