Josh Duggar Tries to Sue Arkansas Authorities, In Touch Publishers Over Molestation Report Release

Former reality TV star says he’s experienced “severe mental anguish and distress” from public disclosure of report

Josh Duggar is looking to lay his hands on a payout from authorities in Arkansas, as well as the publishers of In Touch magazine.

Disgraced former “19 Kids and Counting” star Duggar, whose reality TV career was sent crashing to the ground in 2015 after he admitted to molesting several underage girls, including his own sisters when he was a teenager,is seeking to join a lawsuit against multiple authorities in Arkansas over the release of the report that sparked the scandal, according to legal papers obtained by TheWrap.

Bauer Media, the publisher of In Touch Weekly, is also named in the lawsuit, which was previously filed by Duggars’ sisters.

In the new legal papers, filed Friday in federal court in Arkansas, Duggar says that, during the 2006 investigation into the molestation, he was told by investigators that any statements he gave would remain confidential under Arkansas law and would never be disclosed to the public.

The suit also says that Duggar’s parents “and other minor children” were also promised confidentiality for their interviewers.

However, nearly a decade later, the papers contend, Bauer and In Touch received a copy of the incident report under the Freedom of Information Act and reported on it.

“The information revealed by the Incident Report permitted the public to identify Plaintiff-Intervenor and each of the victims named in the Investigation,” the papers read. “Disclosure of this information was in clear violation of the Arkansas and federal law.”

As a result, the lawsuit claims, Duggar “endured harsh and unwarranted public scrutiny. Defendants’ actions forced Plaintiff-Intervenor to relive painful memories and experiences that occurred almost ten years prior, resulting in Plaintiff-Intervenor suffering severe mental anguish and distress.”

Duggar “was also subject to the humiliation and extreme mental anguish of being publicly identified nation and world-wide as the perpetrator of sexual contact as a minor and having the
details of the most private and painful aspects of his life released and published,” legal papers contend.

In addition to Bauer, former Springdale, Arkansas police chief Kathy O’Kelley, Springdale City Attorney Ernest Cate an other authorities in Arkansas are listed as defendants.

The papers allege invasion of privacy, violation of Arkansas’ constitution and other counts, and seek unspecified damages.

TheWrap has reached out to Bauer for comment on filing.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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