Josh Duggar loses lawsuit against ‘InTouch,’ other cases still open

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.

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.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.