Four Duggar Sisters Sue In Touch for Invasion of Privacy

TLC TCA
Courtesy of TLC

Four sisters of Josh Duggar have filed a federal invasion of privacy suit against In Touch Weekly, which revealed two years ago that their brother had been investigated for sexual molestation. The original story led to the cancellation of the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting.”

The sisters are not contesting the accuracy of the In Touch report — indeed, they themselves subsequently confirmed that they were the victims in the case. Instead, they seem to be following the playbook of Hulk Hogan, who brought down Gawker with an invasion-of-privacy claim.

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. The suit alleges that the localities violated state and federal privacy laws in releasing the documents.

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“Plaintiffs had no knowledge that the highly personal and painful details revealed in their confidential interviews would be disclosed to anyone except law enforcement and child services personnel,” the suit states. “Indeed, they were instructed that their statements would remain confidential and not be released to the public.”

According to the suit, local officials provided the sensitive police records just five days after receiving a records request from In Touch’s lawyer. The suit alleges that officials in the small town failed to properly consult with various branches of government before releasing the documents. If they had done so, the plaintiffs allege they would have discovered that juvenile records were not subject to disclosure.

The suit cites speculation within the Springdale Police Department that a department source had leaked information about the case to the media, given that outlets seemed to know exactly which records to ask for. The records did not name the victims, but the suit alleges that online commentators were quickly able to puzzle out the girls’ identities.

“Plaintiffs were subjected to spiteful and harsh comments and harassment on the Internet and in their daily lives,” the suit states. “Some chastised their personal decision to forgive their brother while others used the opportunity to provide unwarranted commentary on all aspects of Plaintiffs’ lives. Others simply reveled in the ad hoc disclosure of the lurid details of Plaintiffs’ suffering.”

Unlike in the Hogan case, the material published by In Touch came from a government proceeding. News organizations are generally given wide leeway in the reporting of governmental conduct.

In Touch has not responded. A spokesman for the city of Springdale told TMZ, which first reported the suit, that the claims are “without merit and false.”

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  1. annabilly says:

    This is a family who lied, hid and minimized incest molestation. Josh was not just a curious little boy, he was 15 and at 16 his parents considered him an adult. He forcibly molested one sister and inserted his fingers in his five year old sister. It was not just a few seconds above the clothes. The most unbelievable statement was when they admitted on national television that many of the families they know have the same issues with incest and sexual molestation. Really? That is quite jarring and very, very scary. Jimbob on public record stated all and any incest and sexual abusers be put to death. I guess he never meant his son. They blamed the media, yet courted the media at every opportunity. They love the fame, the money, the selfies, the magazine articles, though they bash them as evil, they love being on television, though they do not watch it and they crave the attention. They cried poverty when their show was cancelled while being millionaires. They own multiple homes, properties, businesses, many vehicles, an airplane and a gas guzzling bus. They begged for even $5.00 for t shirts so they could post to you tube. Last I checked you tube was free. They sent Josh to a family friend who renovates homes and they said they locked the daughters in their rooms which was impossible given they had to put boys and girls together, they were living in a home the church gave them for free. This home was illegally overcrowded as well. The daughters are raised to be subservient and all are uneducated. They will never be able to make any choices with respect to their lives. The parents use the rod, blanket train, which breaks the spirit of a baby and follow “Training up a Child”, which will make a grown man weep. They are isolated and must obey the parents at all times. The daughters childhood was stolen. Michele handed over her babies to her little girls like she was giving them a toy. The little girls had to raise their baby siblings 24/7 to adulthood. This must have been daunting. A little girl does not have the maturity nor the capability to raise a baby. They can not comprehend the milestones required for babies, toddlers or teenagers to meet. It is difficult enough for adults to raise children for a little girl it is an impossibility.
    They are taught they must have sex whenever or how often the spouse wants and with a huge smile. We raise our daughters to stand tall, proud and side by side with their spouses.
    Why should there Josh not have been charged. Why should there be a justice system for Josh and one for the rest of our country. There are hundreds upon thousands of young people in prison for crimes far less heinous than incest molestation. To be fair, then all anyone who commits a crime, any crime, is to be Christian, ask for forgiveness and find God and lie of course. Our country would fall apart. Funny, I am certain if Josh molested a young child the fans know, Josh would be in prison in a heart beat. This family pretended to donate to a poor family and then were caught putting it all back into their truck. They state that loving money is ungodly yet crave every penny they can get without having to work. They are hypocrites who outed themselves while lying on national television and again blamed the media and social media yet, post hundreds of times to social media continuously. They hate Catholics, Gays, Lesbians and Transgenders (No michelle, they do not molest little children, but Josh did) and Jews. The uneducated and ignorant remark Jessa made about the holocaust marred the memory of the millions who perished and the millions who suffered unspeakable horrors, all to promote her “religion”. They lack empathy for others and they bigots. This is not a family who is godly and their leaders had to step down amidst serious allegations of sexual abuse. ,

  2. evelyn says:

    As Christians, why don’t they forgive the police department the same way they forgave their pedophile brother.

    • Lisa says:

      Amen. This family talks about forgiveness, but when the little perv gets outed they act like the world finding out is the worst thing. What about the girl that wasn’t in the family

    • Amy says:

      Good one evelyn! You forgot INSESTUAL pedophile brother. Makes me vomit just thinking about it.

  3. Norene Yarbrough says:

    Their show must be about to get canceled. Why don’t these lazy bitches go get a job,instead of always trying to get money the easy way? Plus trying to get free publicity for their stupid show. If they’re so fucking worried about surviving,then get a job and stop trying to live off a public that doesn’t give a fuck about them anymore.

  4. Celeste says:

    These losers are perfectly fine with revealing virtually every aspect of their mundane, worthless lives, yet when something leaks out that they’d prefer to hide, they have the arrogance to believe they should be able to control the narrative. They’re just irate that the revelations about their perverted brothers’ cut into the massive paydays their hypocritical, hateful family managed to glean from pretending to care about “family values.” Shame on the network for persisting in providing a forum for this terrible, greedy clan.

    • Cyndy says:

      Wow, I think it is time to bring a class action lawsuit against TLC for exposing this ungodly cult of a family to the world !
      The important fact concerning this entire issue, that everyone seems to either be overlooking or outright ignoring, is the little girl that Josh sexually assaulted that is NOT HIS SISTER ! From what I could find out when the Duggar’s dirty little secret was exposed is that someone that loves that little girl was very angry watching
      the Duggar’s cult always on TV week after week,
      pretending to be so Christlike. This person took to several Duggar fan chat pages and begin exposing them for the demons they are. THIS is why Intouch requested the police records.
      As for the girls saying they know many families that experience the same disgusting behavior. Well, you better believe they do. It seems quite common in the antichrist cult they call their religion . So common, there are instruction books telling parents how to handle it. (Blame the daughter)
      IMO, everyone that was involved in the cover up for Josh needs to spend the next 15 yeas in prison.From the parents, to the “pastor” to the police. However, do not hold your breath waiting on it. As long as they continue to do their part in pushing the NWO agenda, which includes the destruction of the true Christian faith, they will be protected and promoted.

      • WiccanWoman says:

        That “little girl” who was “not his sister” was not a “little” girl at all, as she was a babysitter. A minor, yes, but not a child in the common meaning. The youngest victim WAS one of his sisters, who was on his lap, wearing — of course — a dress. By doing the math/birth dates, all reports have her being most likely Joy.

      • Cyndy says:

        Wow, I think it is time to bring a class action lawsuit against TLC for exposing this ungodly cult of a family to the world !
        The important fact concerning this entire issue, that everyone seems to either be overlooking or outright ignoring, is the little girl that Josh sexually assaulted that is NOT HIS SISTER ! From what I could find out when the Duggar’s dirty little secret was exposed is that someone that loves that little girl was very angry watching
        the Duggar’s cult always on TV week after week,
        pretending to be so Christlike. This person took to several Duggar fan chat pages and begin exposing them for the demons they are. THIS is why Intouch requested the police records.
        As for the girls saying they know many families that experience the same disgusting behavior. Well, you better believe they do. It seems quite common in the antichrist cult they call their religion . So common, there are instruction books telling parents how to handle it. (Blame the daughter)
        IMO, everyone that was involved in the cover up for Josh needs to spend the next 15 yeas in prison.From the parents, to the “pastor” to the police. However, do not hold your breath waiting on it. As long as they continue to do their part in pushing the NWO agenda, which includes the destruction of the true Christian faith, they will be protected and promoted.

    • Cathy says:

      In order to successfully sue an entity, one has to prove damages.These girls suffered no financial loss. In fact, somehow they are thriving when they and two of their spouses do not even have jobs that put a roof over their heads. They continue on TV unabated, they continue to do public speaking engagements (none on the issue of standing up for the rights of sexual abuse victims I might add), and continue to sell their stories and photos to national magazines. They’ve published books. Their marketability has not suffered. They travel the country and even the world. They are all or soon will all be happily married–so no suffering there either. If this was truly about them wanting to make a statement to protect the rights of victims, they would have been doing that all along. Instead, they went on national television and minimized what Josh did, calling it a mistake and normal curiosity. They said they were asleep and/or didn’t know it happened. They said it happened in a lot of families so it was not a big deal. All of what they said was an affront to victims of sexual abuse everywhere. This lawsuit is about money. If they truly are people of forgiveness and faith–trusting their God for his vengeance, they wouldn’t be suing anyone. If they wanted to put this behind them, they wouldn’t be opening the door to more publicity about the situation and their fame-mongering, greedy, narcissistic selves. This is about money and celebrity only. If they want to sue the entity that perpetrated the real crime and cover up, they should sue Josh and their parents. Without them there would be no redacted document to bother about.

  5. Dedee says:

    How about protecting Josh Duggars children, you know your nieces and nephews? Josh is a pedophile and a sexual deviant. Hope you don’t get a dime for this nonsense.

  6. cmredford says:

    “In its report, In Touch did not identify Josh’s victims by name. It was Jessa and Jill who identified themselves as two of Josh’s five underage victims when they participated in an interview with Megyn Kelly on “The Kelly File.”
    MANY people actually experience this and law enforcement as well as the state agencies take great pains to protect underage victims…to make a mockery of the cases where that is the case because they cashed in on an opportunity and then claim to be victimized by the agencies who tried to prevent that? Shameful. Many victims of abuse have absolutely nowhere near that level of ownership…something to be bought and sold for this elite few….not to diminish the abuse, but, for craps sake, don’t say something you don’t want public, then cry foul when it is…

  7. rodittis says:

    People who want to protect their children’s privacy don’t put them on television.

  8. amy says:

    LOL Stop blaming others for your brother’s actions. You blame the police and now your’e suing inTouch. Why not sue your brother instead? He’s the one that violated your body repeatedly.

  9. Dunstan says:

    Another collection of social mutants who should just disappear.

  10. stevie68a says:

    These people put their lives on television.
    Their pretend religion is what’s known about them.
    They are not holier than thou.
    Perhaps they can sue their brother.

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