The disgraced 19 Kids and Counting reality star Josh Duggar has filed a new lawsuit against city and county officials and a magazine on Thursday. The case is related to the release of information with regard to the molestation issue he was involved in as a teen.
According to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Josh filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Springdale officials, Washington County officials, and In Touch Weekly magazine. The 29-year-old claims in part that his privacy was invaded and that there was a lack of due process in the release of investigative reports, revealing his and his sisters’ identities.
The eldest Duggar son seeks $75,000 in damages, lawyer’s fees, and a jury trial. Defendants in Josh’s case include Mayor Doug Sprouse, former Springdale Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley, Springdale City Attorney Ernest Cate, Maj. Rick Hoyt with the Sheriff’s Office, former County Attorney Steve Zega, the Arkansas Department of Human Services and Bauer Media Group that publishes In Touch Weekly, as well as 10 other unidentified defendants.
Josh Duggar said the following in his complaint, via Courthouse News Service.
“Plaintiff continues to be emotionally upset and humiliated by the disclosure of his identity as a juvenile offender and the intimate details of those acts, including the fact that his siblings were the alleged victims.”
In 2006, police investigated the allegations that Josh molested young girls, including four of his sisters in 2002 and 2003. It was later revealed that the sisters are Jill Dillard, Jessa Seewald, Jinger Vuolo and Joy-Anna Forysth, who were minors at the time of incident and investigations.
Two years ago, the molestation scandal came out, which led to Josh’s resignation as a lobbyist for a group run by the conservative Family Research Council. He also admitted to his wrongdoing, and the family’s reality show 19 Kids and Counting was canceled as a result.
Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna filed a separate lawsuit against Northwest Arkansas officials in May, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Josh filed a motion to join the lawsuit, which he withdrew in June without further explanation. Last week, reports emerged that Springdale officials sought to throw out the Duggar sisters’ lawsuit, saying that the statute of limitations was no longer applicable when the tabloid requested information and that they have immunity from legal action. In Touch Weekly obtained the information through the Freedom of Information Act.
Officials said the lawsuits are misguided, false and without merit. “It is unfortunate that now, at this late date, the plaintiff has chosen to file a misguided lawsuit against dedicated public servants and seeking damages from public tax dollars,” a statement from Springdale said, via NWADG.
[Featured Image by Danny Johnston/AP Images]