In the latest lawsuit associated with his family, Josh Duggar indicates that as a teenager, he suffered a traumatic experience and that he’s being forced to relive that experience thanks to the publication of a police report detailing abuse allegations from that time. After Josh had rescinded a request to join his sisters’ lawsuit against their city, county, and state, as well as media outlets that published the police reports, and a list of other parties associated with those entities, he re-filed in his own, separate lawsuit.
As the details of Duggar’s lawsuit become clear, the similarities to his sisters’ similar case are striking. Though Josh canceled his bid to join their case, his own legal documents don’t look very different. However, there are a few points that stand out.
Josh Duggar’s name was redacted in the original police report, but not in news reports. While his lawsuit (published in full by Courthouse News) repeats the assertion that the redacted report allows guessing of identities, the public wasn’t left to guess his. The complaint outlined in his lawsuit isn’t that this could identify him: it’s that it could identify whom he was accused of victimizing.
“…although the Offense Report includes redactions, it was obvious that one of Josh’s victims was as young as five years old.”
Economic, Reputational, Professional
Both lawsuits include this line:
As a direct and proximate result of CITY DEFENDANTS’ and COUNTY DEFENDANTS’ aforementioned actions, PLAINTIFF[s] [has/have] suffered substantial emotional distress, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, and economic harm, including reputational and professional harm, in an amount to be proved at trial.
In their lawsuit, a copy of which is available here via the Arkansas Times, Jill Duggar Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, and Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth allege that the release of information caused them professional harm. Since none of the four holds a ‘regular’ job, or did at the time of the publication of Josh’s police report, the primary profession to which they are connected is as reality television stars. They did, indeed, briefly lose this, though they’ve now returned to television in a newer iteration of 19 Kids & Counting, re-titled Counting On.
Josh, however, did lose employment, both in that he has been unable to return to television, and that the publicity resulted in him leaving his position at conservative lobbying group Family Research Council. However, the FRC’s later public statements in response to Josh’s name being attached to other public scandals — specifically, when Duggar’s name turned up on a website devoted to extramarital affairs, and when he publicly declared a porn addiction — indicate that other factors might have also affected his employment with them.
What may be the most startling similarity between Josh Duggar’s lawsuit and the one his sisters filed, though, is how they refer to the incidents. The four victims refer, in their lawsuit, to the molestation as ‘traumatizing experiences,’ as might be expected.
Josh Duggar describes them the same way.
PLAINTIFF was forced to relive the painful and difficult circumstances of a traumatic experience as a juvenile.
[In Touch Magazine] sensationalized PLAINTIFF’s traumatizing experiences for pecuniary gains.
The ‘plaintiff’ named in both of those statements is Josh Duggar — his lawsuit is describing the year in which he is said to have molested five underage girls as a ‘traumatic experience’ for him, and the publication of it as an attempt to use his, Josh’s, trauma for financial gain.
According to Arkansas Online, a motion has already been filed to dismiss Jill, Jessa, Joy, and Jinger’s lawsuit. It is unclear as yet whether a similar motion to dismiss will be filed for Josh Duggar’s case, or if he will have the jury trial he is requesting.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family Official/Facebook]