It appears as if controversy is never quite far from the Duggar family. After Josh Duggar's porn addiction and cheating scandals, the daughters of Jim Bob and Michelle have sparked another debate after they filed a lawsuit against Springdale city in Arkansas, police officials as well as InTouch magazine for breach of privacy.
In the lawsuit, Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna Duggar accused the defendants of forcing them to relive painful memories that caused severe mental anguish. An excerpt of the lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Fayetteville reads: "Defendants' actions forced Plaintiffs to relive painful memories and experiences that occurred almost ten years prior, resulting in Plaintiffs suffering severe mental anguish and distress."
The Josh Duggar sexual molestation case went public in 2015 after InTouch published documents related to the controversy it gained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The Duggar sisters, however, claim that they were subjected to extreme humiliation after being recognised globally as sexual abuse victims as minors following the leaking of "confidential documents" to the public.
"Plaintiffs were also subject to the humiliation and extreme mental anguish of being publicly identified nation and world-wide as being victims of sexual abuse as minors and having the details of the most private and painful aspects of their lives released and published to friends, associates, and tens of millions of people throughout the United States and world," the lawsuit said.
Meanwhile, the City of Springdale has released a press statement calling the lawsuit a "misguided" one that seeks "damages from public tax dollars".
"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," a spokesperson for the city of Springdale told TMZ.
The website also reported that the Duggar sisters claimed they were suing the defendants in order to protect all child victims of abuse. However, not many are impressed with the lawsuit and wonder why the sisters waited for two years to file it and how a case against the defendants would help other victims of sexual abuse.
"I wonder though if the point of this lawsuit is truly to protect victims or is it to protect perpetrators? The Duggar girls claim to be fine. They say they have no trauma connected with Josh molesting them. They say they are not victims of Josh but are victims of the press and the city of Springdale," the Facebook parody account of the former 19 Kids And Counting family wrote on a screenshot of the official statement released by the City of Springdale.
The evangelical Christian Duggar family was under public scrutiny and was criticised for being hypocritical in keeping Josh's wrongdoings a secret. Interestingly, Josh was never charged for his vile behaviour as a minor and the Duggar daughters, who were his victims, later claimed to have forgiven their perpetrator.
In June 2015, Jill and Jana appeared in a FOX News interview and tearfully admitted that the news of being touched inappropriately by their elder brother hurt them more badly than the touching itself.
"I see it as a victimization that's even a thousand times worse, because this was something that was already dealt with. We've already forgiven Josh. We've already moved on," Jill said in 2015, crying. "It's not the truth first of all, everything was distorted. We feel like our story was not being told. And we feel like it shouldn't have been told. The victims are the only ones who can speak for themselves."