Four of Josh Duggar’s sisters are filing a lawsuit following the release of documents showing his molestation of the girls over a decade ago.
We’re surprised it took them two years to do so.
Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna Duggar are reportedly suing both city and police officials, along with a tabloid publisher, for damages.
They’re going after In Touch magazine for releasing investigative reports detailing Josh’s now-admitted molestation of his four siblings.
The quartet of Duggars filed the suit against the city of Springdale, Arkansas over the 2015 police documents with shocked the world.
Court papers state that they spoke to police in 2006 about the molestations, which occurred a few years prior, when they were all minors.
(Jill, 26, Jessa, 24, Jinger, 23, and Joy-Anna, 19, talked to police a decade ago, and were even younger still when they were abused.)
In coming forward to speak on the record, they were assured their statements would only be shared with police and child service officials.
Obviously, that was not the case.
According to court documents, celebrity gossip magazine In Touch filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2015 to obtain the files.
In succeeding, the magazine published at least eight stories about the Josh Duggar investigation, blowing the lid off a massive scandal.
More significantly as it pertains to this legal case, rocking a family to its core, and victimizing the victims unnecessarily – and illegally.
The Duggar sisters’ lawsuit asserts that under Arkansas state law, the police are explicitly forbidden from disclosing any such information.
If that’s true, the girls could be due for a big time settlement – and again, we’re surprised it took them two years to pursue legal action.
Furthermore, they allege that the intense scrutiny of their family after the scandal blew up inflicted even more lasting damage on them.
That part could be tougher to prove from a legal standpoint, as the Duggars promoted themselves and their pious lifestyle relentlessly.
The carefully-fashioned self-image of a hard-working, old-fashioned, Christian family helped Jim Bob and company rake in millions.
Of course they’re under a microscope now, especially given Josh’s parents role in trying to handle the scandal “in house” for years.
It’s not only Josh’s actions, after all, but Jim Bob and Michelle’s means of addressing them that made the early 2015 story so explosive.
For the girls to say that such scrutiny of their lives is now unfair – or that the scandal is the reason for it – may be a legitimate gripe.
But is it grounds for a lawsuit? We’ll see what the city and state say about that (too bad they can’t list their parents as co-defendants).
In the months after the story, TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting, and Josh was shipped off to a Christian labor camp sex rehab program.
(The quote-unquote family values lobbyist was also outed as cheater in the Ashley Madison hack, which did not help the family image.)
Somewhat incredibly, the network rebooted the popular reality show in late 2015 as the confusingly-titled Jill & Jessa: Counting On!
Now rebranded as Counting On, the series follows the four adult girls suing over the Josh story. Josh personally is persona non grata.
TLC has gone to hilarious lengths to keep him off TV, even as producers film major family events where he attends (see gallery below).
Reports of Josh Duggar’s return to Counting On this season have raised eyebrows, as he hasn’t been seen with his sisters in years.
Josh and his long-suffering wife who somehow didn’t pack her bags after this, Anna Duggar, are currently expecting their fifth child.
His relationship with anyone in the famous family not named Anna is the subject of great debate these days, though he’s still on the outs.
As you can see in the video above, time may heal all wounds, but we’re talking about serious emotional wounds and a LOT of time.
But why a lawsuit against the cops and the tabloid, and why now, if the family would like nothing more than for this to go away forever?
In a statement, the Duggar girls said that they’re only suing to protect all children who are victims of abuse from experiencing this fate.
Interestingly, his eldest sister Jana Duggar, 27, is not a part of this lawsuit, implying that Joy-Anna and Jinger, not Jana, were victims.
Josh molested five people, four sisters and a family babysitter; Jill and Jessa have publicly admitted they were victims, but no others.