Duggar sisters file invasion of privacy lawsuit over molestation article | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 19, 2017

Duggar sisters file invasion of privacy lawsuit over molestation article

Posted By on Fri, May 19, 2017 at 10:01 AM

FIRST REPORT: The celebrity publication reported the first Duggar story this way.
  • FIRST REPORT: The celebrity publication reported the first Duggar story this way.

Four sisters in the Duggar family have filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit as a result of the publication of articles that revealed that their brother, Josh Duggar, had been accused of molesting children.

Jill Duggar Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Jinger Duggar Vuolo and Joy Duggar have sued the city of Springdale, Washington County, various public officials and the publishers of InTouch Weekly for revealing their identities. They said the matter should have been confidential.

The initial report identified Josh Duggar, but not the names of those he might have molested. Subsequent reporting indicated he'd molested sisters and a babysitter.

The stories brought to an end "19 and Counting," the TV series about the family of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. But Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald later began another reality series, "Jill and Jessa: Counting On." The four sisters collaborated in a book, "Growing Up Duggar."

The lawsuit was filed in federal court for the western district of Arkansas. Their attorneys include Sarah Coppola Jewell and Shawn Daniels of Fayetteville. Says the suit:

As a direct and proximate result of Defendants' misconduct, Plaintiffs endured harsh and unwarranted public scrutiny. Defendants' actions forced Plaintiffs to relive painful memories and experiences that occurred almost ten years prior, resulting in Plaintiffs suffering severe mental anguish and distress. 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 lawsuit provides some detail of how the case came to be investigated in 2006. It also seems to imply that InTouch may have been helped in obtaining Springdale police records because of a purported friendship between then-Police Chief Kathy O'Kelley and Carolyn Witherspoon, a partner in the law firm that filed the Freedom of Information Act request that dislodged the police report. The lawsuit said plaintiffs believe official leaks helped publication of the initial account because details appeared on the publication's website before official responses to FOI requests had been made. When reports were released, they weren't sufficiently redacted to prevent identification of the daughters.

The unredacted information released to the media for the express purpose of publication included Jim Bob Duggar's and Michelle Duggar's names, the family's current and former address, and other personal details about each individual victim. To compound Plaintiffs' humiliation, the Police Department released the improperly-redacted Offense Report to the public containing the full descriptions of Plaintiffs' and their siblings' confidential interviews with Investigator Taylor. Thus, each Plaintiff was not only obviously identifiable from the facts publicized by Defendants, but each Plaintiff was forced to endure the publication of graphic descriptions about their molestation. 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation