A federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas dismissed most of the lawsuits presented by former star of TLC’s hit reality show 19 Kids and Counting Josh Duggar to InTouch Weekly magazine on Thurs., Oct. 12.
Duggar was attempting to sue the publication owned by Bauer Publishing for violations to privacy in regards to their publishing a story in 2015 that was based on the claims that he had molested five underage girls. The list of those he allegedly touched included four of his own sisters while he was still a teenager.
In addition to the lawsuit brought by Duggar, another came from his sisters Jill Dillard, Jessa Seewald, Jinger Vuolo and Joy Duggar. The girls separately sued Bauer Publishing claiming that local officials revealed their legally redacted names to InTouch.
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The district judge, Timothy L. Brooks, ruled dismissed the case against citing that the First Amendment protected the magazine because the information it published was true and that even if the police and local officials broke the law, the publication “cannot be held liable for the city’s and county’s failure to follow the law.”
According to The Wrap, the judge said in his ruling, that “the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed that the First Amendment requires that if a newspaper lawfully obtains truthful information about a matter of public significance, then state officials may not constitutionally punish publication of the information, absent a need to further a state interest of the highest order.”
While Josh Duggar’s claims against Springdale and Washington Counties also failed, the claims against the State of Arkansas Department of Human Services are still up in the air. His sister’s lawsuit in regard to the counties in question still is in play.
The Duggar family continues their dispute with local authorities, but no official statement has been offered as yet.