Former reality TV star Josh Duggar is hoping to join a lawsuit filed by four of his sisters on the grounds that he suffered harm from reports that he molested his sisters when they were younger.
Daily Mail notes that Josh has filed a motion to join a breach-of-privacy lawsuit filed by Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy Duggar in March against the City of Springdale, Arkansas, police officials and In Touch Weekly for disclosing the police reports of the abuse.
According to Duggar's sisters' lawsuit, they were allegedly told by investigators in 2006 that their statements about the abuse would never be made public.
In Touch Weekly was able to gain access to the records under a request filed via the Freedom of Information Act. In 2015, the magazine broke the story that Josh, per the police reports, molested four of his sisters (who were never named in the reports) when he was 14 and 15 years old.
The Duggar sisters, who were all minors at the time, say in their lawsuit that Arkansas law does not allow the release of sexual misconduct cases that involve children.
Jessa and Jill chose to publicly discuss the story when they did an interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News in 2015.
Josh's lawyers said in court papers that he was also a minor during the molestation investigation, and, like his sisters, had his rights violated:
[Josh] was the subject of a child abuse investigation conducted by members of the Springdale Police Department and Washington County Sheriff's Office resulting in reports created, collected or compiled by or on behalf of the Arkansas Department of Human Services ('DHS') in 2006 when he was a juvenile ... [Josh] had a reasonable expectation that the confidentiality of those records would be maintained and after a certain time, expunged.
The news of the molestations led to an outcry against Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the parents, for not doing enough to stop the situation; TLC canceled the family's reality show "19 Kids and Counting."
Josh's filing also asserts that "released reports have subjected [Josh] to exposure only in an intensely negative light for actions he engaged in as an indiscreet youth and that will continue to haunt him and cause him financial and emotional injury for the rest of his life."
A spokesman for the City of Springdale issued a statement in response to the Duggar sisters' lawsuit:
The claims and allegations in this lawsuit are without merit and are false, and we are confident that the Federal Court will take the time to carefully hear the facts and arguments in this matter. It is unfortunate that now, at this late date, the Plaintiffs have chosen to file a misguided lawsuit against dedicated public servants and seeking damages from public tax dollars.
In Touch Weekly reported on May 10 that Josh is planning a TV comeback on his sisters' TLC show "Jill & Jessa: Counting On."
An unidentified source told the tabloid that Jim Bob was behind the idea to put Josh on the show: "He spent a month trying to convince TLC that Josh should be back on the show. They finally caved and agreed to let him film an upcoming 'Counting On' webisode where he’ll talk about his joy at learning he’s going to be a father again."
According to the source, if all goes well, Josh will come back for future episodes of "Counting On," which has suffered low ratings.