Josh Duggar’s attempt to join his sisters’ lawsuit could be tearing the Duggar family apart. According to a legal expert, there’s likely some major drama going on behind the scenes as the girls try to have their brother barred from sitting beside them in court.
Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna Duggar have spent a lot of time around the man who sexually molested them when they were children, but they don’t want him to be anywhere near them when they head to court for their breach of privacy lawsuit. As reported by E! News, the four girls have filed court documents asking the judge to deny Josh Duggar’s request to join their lawsuit against In Touch Weekly and various Northwest Arkansas officials. The Duggar sisters are seeking financial restitution for what they believe is the unlawful release and publication of records documenting the abuse that they once suffered at the hands of their older brother. The former 19 Kids and Counting star also views himself as a victim of the entities responsible for making the documents public.
According to a legal expert, the fact that the Duggar sisters decided to go through the court to keep Josh from joining their lawsuit could be indicative of a severe lack of communication between the family members.
“It would appear that things aren’t hunky-dory if they are having public legal battles. That would indicate they’re not coordinating things with each other,” said attorney Troy Slaten, who has not been retained as legal counsel for any of the Duggars. “They are not on the same side. It seems that would make for a rather odd Thanksgiving dinner discussion.”
In other words, it’s possible that Josh and his sisters have had some sort of falling out. Soon after news of the sexual molestation scandal broke in 2015, two of Josh’s victims, Jill and Jessa Duggar, sat down with former Fox News host Megyn Kelly. They both defended their brother and claimed that he was a changed man, but just weeks later, another bombshell dropped: Josh Duggar had cheated on his wife, Anna. As reported by Entertainment Tonight, Jessa admitted that the infidelity revelation was “especially difficult” for her because she had just stood up for her brother without knowing that “there were some things that he was hiding and that he wasn’t being honest about.” Perhaps a rift between Josh and his sisters began forming after this second dark secret came to light.
In their legal documents, the Duggar sisters argue that it would be traumatizing for them if Josh were allowed to join their lawsuit, and they write that it would give the jury “the false impression that the victims and the perpetrator are ‘in this together.'” It would also undermine the girls’ previous claim that their lawsuit “is solely about protecting children who are victims of abuse.” As Slaten notes, adding Josh on as a plaintiff would make it look like the family is just seeking a payday.
“The sisters don’t want him sitting next to them because it may appear to a jury that they are all in cahoots. The jury is going to think this is just some big money ploy.”
So why did Josh Duggar risk upsetting his sisters by making a move that could potentially hurt their case? According to Slaten, he likely “wants to piggy back on their lawsuit” because it increases his chances of receiving financial compensation. Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna make “more sympathetic plaintiffs” than their brother, so he’s basically hoping to benefit from any compassion and pity that the jury might feel for his victims.
[Featured Image by Josh Duggar/Twitter]