When the investigators approached the sisters, they demanded and received promises of confidentiality, but the city and county breached that promise when documents requested by the magazine under a freedom of information act contained information that made it easy to identify the sisters.
At the time of the media firestorm in 2015 the names of the Duggar sisters were never revealed but Jessa and Jill identified themselves as two of Josh's five underage victims in an interview with Megyn Kelly on "The Kelly File".
Four relatives tied to a sexual-abuse investigation into Josh Duggar are suing authorities in Arkansas as well as a magazine publisher, claiming that they improperly released sensitive information.
The Duggar sisters who filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit in Arkansas federal district court are members of the Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar family that gained celebrity status as stars of the former TLC reality show, "19 Kids and Counting".
TMZ reports that the lawsuit hinges on the fact that the girls gave their testimony to officers while they were minors. Back in 2015, In Touch Weekly, responding to an insider tip that Josh Duggar had molested his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teen, started digging around Springdale, Washington County, and Arkansas State Police records.
Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy argue that, after In Touch used the details of their case to publish at least eight articles, they were "victimized" by the public. 5NewsOnline has the full original statement by the Springdale mayor, which also notes that the police department consulted not only with the city's own attorney, but with multiple other agencies as well before releasing the police report detailing the incidents in the Duggar family home.
The Duggar sisters claimed in their lawsuit that the decision of city officials and police to release the molestation documents to In Touch magazine violated Arkansas laws that forbid police and city officials from disclosing information relating to sexual misconduct involving minors. You'll recall, in the months following the story. the Duggars' show, "19 Kids and Counting", was canceled, and Josh entered a rehab program. Though the names of the victims in the account were redacted, along with other identifying information, the family's response included massive amounts of publicity, public statements, and interviews. For example, The Inquisitr has extensively covered the cases of Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Thomas, both of whom were children when they were victims of sex crimes. The Duggar sisters said they were suing on behalf of all children who have been victims of molestation. We feel like our story was not being told.