Duggar sisters sue over release of Josh Duggar molestation docs


There’s a new turn in the molestation scandal that rocked the popular Duggar family from 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On.

Jill Duggar, Jessa Duggar, Jinger Duggar, and Joy-Anna Duggar have filed a lawsuit against the city of Springdale, Arkansas over the release of information relating to brother Josh Duggar’s admitted molestation of his sisters.

In Touch had filed a a Freedom of Information Act request in 2015 to obtain police files stemming from the 2006 investigation by police. The outlet dropped the bombshell information about the report in a number of articles but the Duggar sisters argue that under Arkansas law, In Touch should have never been provided details regarding information that pertains to sexual misconduct involving children.

In all, the four sisters are suing the police, the city, the county and In Touch for damages. The Duggars told TMZ that they are suing as a means to protect all children who are victims of abuse. There’s no word yet on the amount the Duggars are seeking.

After the story initially broke, Jill and Jessa spoke out publicly about what happened and came to the defense of their brother. Jessa said, “I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist […] I’m like, that is so overboard and a lie really,” adding, “In Josh’s case, he was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls, and that got him into some trouble, and he made some bad choices.”

They both railed against all the reporting at the time, stating that the focus was tantamount to a “re-victimization that’s even a thousand times worse.”


  • Hannah

    I’m not a fan of the duggars. But from the very start of this I knew that releasing that information about the victims was morally wrong and illegal. It’s punishing the girls and making them have to tell the entire world something so incredibly private and hard to deal with. I have to tell you there’s very few worse things in my life I could imagine happening than something like this on this scale – the world knowing who I am and then being a victim of a sex crime as a child or even an adult and dealing with that alone is earth shattering and choosing to not deal with it is just as earth shattering and difficult but it’s a personal choice no one else should have the right to tell the world what happened even more so if I was a child. The people who lost the most in this wasn’t the mom and dad or josh it’s always been the girls – they were victimized again

    • Amanda_56

      I completely agree! It’s a huge violation of privacy, and I don’t understand why people would justify it. The girls deserved better than that!

      • Hailey

        It was public information, legally obtained via a FOIA request and the names were redacted from the police report as the police are legally required to. Also, the magazine NEVER published their names! These two girls are the reason anyone knows that they are two of Josh’s victims. Remember, they went on national tv and publicly stated that they were abused by Josh. Also, celebrities are not protected by defamation laws the same way private citizens are. Unless public figures are able to prove that a tabloid magazine acted with “actual malice”—knowingly printing false information, or acting recklessly as to whether it was false or not, public figures cannot recover damages for defamation!

    • Hailey

      The information was legally obtained and legally released under FOIA law. The required information (such as the names of the victims and their addresses) was redacted as the police dept. was legally required to do. The magazine never printed any names, two of the girls did when they publicly, on tv, said they are two of Josh’s victims. Celebrities are not protected by defamation law the same way private citizens are. Unless public figures are able to prove that a tabloid magazine acted with “actual malice”—knowingly printing false information, or acting recklessly as to whether it was false or not, public figures cannot recover damages for defamation! Remember, no one printed their names, the information was legally obtained & verified and it was factual. You’d think their father, the former politician, would be able to educate them on some very basic legal parameters like FOIA and defamation. SMH

      • Amanda_56

        No one printed their names but it stated 4 of the girls were his sisters, at the time he only had 5 sisters … So, it pretty much pointed right at them. The way the wording was too, i remember thinking it was obvious Jana was the one sister not touched. I wonder if it was your daughter or even yourself if you would have a different outlook. These people acted in the best interest of themselves, and they surely weren’t thinking about the victims. Put your disdain for their religious beliefs out of your head, because that’s the only reason people are standing up for this being released. They love the idea of their tarnished image. If it was released josh molested 5 girls, no other details, then that would be okay. Just don’t put any possible clues out there for everyone to be able to figure out who the victims were. Not fair!

        • Hailey

          Nothing illegal was done. That’s the point of their lawsuit…. Look, I work in the records office of a police department and I handle FOIA requests day in and day out. Their names & addresses were redacted. The magazine did not publish their names. They are celebrities, and celebrities are not afforded the same privacy protection that the average person is. Unless public figures are able to prove that a tabloid magazine acted with “actual malice”—knowingly printing false information, or acting recklessly as to whether it was false or not, public figures cannot recover damages for defamation.

  • TA

    In most states, sexual abuse cases on minors BY minors are sealed, and are protected from Freedom of Information Act filings.
    I don’t know the specifics of Arkansas Law, but the reports should not have been released, especially because this family has a television show.

    I am sickened by the fact that JB and JMichelle brain washed their daughters in to defending their brother, but they’re the victims and their identities should have remained sealed. I hope the sisters will donate the money awarded to victims advocate groups.

    • Hailey

      The information was legally obtained with their names & addressed redacted, as Arkansas and federal FOIA laws require. The magazine never published their names! A police report is public information anyone can obtain and the police are legally required to release the information if a FOIA request is made. These girls can’t successfully sue a magazine for outing them when the magazine never published their names! These girls are the ones who outed themselves as victims by going on national tv and stating so.

      • Ds

        You need to go read the FOIA. They can not release information containing information about minors if it would in any way identify them. Stop with the copy and paste and go read it. Yes they admitted to it on tv after being outted by a very thinly vailed story. I think what the family did to these girls is awful but it wasn’t our business to know.

        • Hailey

          I work in a police department records office. I deal with FOIA requests day in/day out. I know what the FOIA laws allow and disallow. Because this is a police report and because it is an investigation that is closed, the reports ARE public record and the police dept. was required by law to comply with the FOIA request.

      • TA

        It shouldn’t have been released, they were minors. The magazine shouldn’t have pursued the Freedom of Information Act, let the victims have their privacy.
        And maybe the magazine didn’t print their names, but did print their ages, and who their parents are. Pretty easy to figure out which sisters were victims.

        Consider yourself lucky if you aren’t a victim of being molested as a child. As a victim myself, I’d be absolutely mortified if the information in my case was released to a gossip magazine. Victims feel so much shame, they carry the guilt as if they were in the wrong. Law or not, we shouldn protect the victims, not shine a bright spotlight on their deepest pains for the world to read and speculate about.

        • Hailey

          FYI: I was repeatedly and brutally raped as a child for 8 years by my own father! It only stopped after I kicked and stomped him, well, you can figure out where. Tried to tell an aunt and later a teacher, who said I was telling wild tales and needed to stop. So please don’t assume things about people without knowing them at all. Years later I was attacked and called a liar by numerous family members who wouldn’t believe me even after I showed them medical records showing damage to my body. These girls went on tv and revealed it themselves that they were his victims. The problem I have with their tv interview is that they DOWNPLAYED and MINIMIZED what happened, a VERY dangerous message to give nationally to all victims and survivors of sexual abuse!!

          I work in the records office of a police department and I deal with FOIA requests all day. I know how the law works and what it allows. Police reports are public information once the investigation is complete. Anyone can view them if they go directly to the station and anyone can request a copy if they submit a FOIA request. The law requires that the name & address be redacted, which it was. The magazine did nothing wrong in releasing it. The police department was REQUIRED by law to release it.

          If you want to be angry at someone about their situation, blame their parents. They and even Josh repeatedly went to the parents to tell what was going on (Josh because he was feeling guilty). The parents too another 18 months before they did anything and that was only after the Oprah show contacted the police about it!! These parents did not protect these girls before, during or after this whole situation (locking victims in their room at night is so damaging!!). Have you ever read their home schooling material?!? It LITERALLY tells sexual abuse victims that they are to blame for being abused because they weren’t modest enough and/or gave the wrong impression to the abuser by being sexy or provocative. These girls ought to sue their freaking parents and Josh!!

  • Bruja

    They should sue their brother and parents too. Yeah, I get they want privacy but they can’t have their cake and eat it too. The whole family slings shit at everyone else but want to leave their skeletons in the closet? Pshaw.

    Maybe if everyone involved repents, they’ll drop it, Seems to work for this family for everything else.

  • Guest

    I can’t believe they’re making excuses for Josh. All teenage boys are curious, but they don’t all touch their sisters inappropriately.

  • Guest

    Question – can the girls essentially claim they aren’t victims by saying what happened to them was no biggie while in the same breath say the reporting “re-victimised” them?

    They are so brainwashed, it’s awful.

  • Hailey

    The information was legally obtained via FOIA, legally released by the police (all required information to be redacted was, in fact, redacted), and the magazine NEVER published the girls names. TWO OF THE GIRLS publicly came out as his victims, so they released their names, not the paper. Unless public figures are able to prove that a tabloid magazine acted with “actual malice”—knowingly printing false information, or acting recklessly as to whether it was false or not, public figures cannot recover damages for defamation! SMH.

  • Aussie cathie

    Sue you disgusting parents who enabled your sicko brother and for failing to protect you !!!