Duggar sisters sue city, InTouch Weekly over breach of privacy

Jessa Duggar Seewald, 24 and Joy Duggar 19 along with their other two sisters filed a breach-of-privacy suit on Thursday against the city of Springdale and Washington County Arkansas and publishers of In Touch Weekly magazine

Jessa Duggar Seewald, 24 and Joy Duggar 19 along with their other two sisters filed a breach-of-privacy suit on Thursday against the city of Springdale and Washington County Arkansas and publishers of In Touch Weekly magazine

The sisters talked to police in December 2006 as part of an investigation into reports that their brother, Josh Duggar, had molested them and one other female in 2002 and 2003, the document states.

At the time of the media firestorm in 2015 the names of the Duggar sisters were never revealed but Jessa and Jill identified themselves as two of Josh's five underage victims in an interview with Megyn Kelly on "The Kelly File". But under Arkansas laws, the police are apparently forbidden from divulging any information about sexual misconduct involving children.

Four of Josh Duggar's sisters are suing city and police officials, as well as In Touch magazine, for releasing investigative reports which detailed Josh's now admitted molestation of his siblings. "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".

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TMZ reports that the lawsuit hinges on the fact that the girls gave their testimony to officers while they were minors. That was after an anonymous tipster reported the girls had been molested by their brother.

The four girls were stars on the TLC reality show that documented their personal lives growing up in Arkansas, raised by parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy argue that, after In Touch used the details of their case to publish at least eight articles, they were "victimized" by the public.

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It's been nearly two years since news of Josh Duggar's molestation scandal broke, and the Duggar family still hasn't quite recovered.

Josh Duggar was forced to enter rehab after stories broke about his sexual abuse of minors, which his father kept hidden from police.

Various government officials in office in May of 2015 when the documents were released are named individually in the lawsuit, including the Springdale, Ark., police chief and city attorney, a Washington County sheriff's major, and the attorney for Washington County.

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"As we stated almost two years ago, the city takes seriously its responsibilities to the public under the FOIA as well as its obligations to protect the privacy of victims", attorneys for the city said, adding that the family was "regularly informed of the status of the request prior to the production of the redacted report". "I see it as a re-victimization that's a thousand times worse".

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