Culture&Arts

Duggar sisters file privacy suit against city, magazine

Duggar sisters file privacy suit against city, magazine

In the suit, they claim that they had spoken to authorities in 2006 about the sexual assault when they were all minors, and were assured their statements would only be shared with police and child services.

Four sisters of Josh Duggar who were revealed to have told police that they'd been molested by their older brother are suing the city of Springdale and Washington County, Arkansas, and publishers of the magazine that first revealed their identities.

The lawsuit also names Kathy O'Kelly, who was the chief of the Springdale Police Department at the time; Ernest Cate, Springdale city attorney; Rick Hoyt, enforcement major at Washington County Sheriff's Office; and Steve Zega, Washington County attorney.

In May 2015, In Touch Weekly sent a Freedom of Information Act request for the incident report after getting an anonymous tip.




Though In Touch filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2015, the Duggar sisters say that, by law, officials can not release information of sexual misconduct involving minors to the public. According to the stories, the sisters' older brother, Josh, had molested underage girls when he was a teenager. But under Arkansas laws, the police are apparently forbidden from divulging any information about sexual misconduct involving children.

The fallout from the In Touch reports led to the cancellation of the family's reality TV program 19 Kids And Counting, and the sisters may be looking for damages caused to their business endeavors. They said in a statement they're only seeking legal action to protect all the child victims of abuse. The Duggar family were stars of the now-canceled 19 Kids and Counting television show. "We're victims. They can't do this to us". At the time the molestation scandal surfaced, Josh was executive director of Tony Perkins' conservative and anti-gay group, Family Research Council Action.

Josh Duggar was forced to enter rehab after stories broke about his sexual abuse of minors, which his father kept hidden from police. But Jill Duggar rejected In Touch's claim that it was the sisters who revealed they were among the victims in the molestation case.


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