The Duggar girls are still pursuing their lawsuit against the Arkansas police department and its employees who helped release documents revealing that their brother Josh had molested them as children, four years after they first filed it in court. Though the sisters— Jill Duggar Dillard, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, Jessa Duggar Seewald and Joy Duggar Forsyth— are now considering a settlement in the case, it appears that they will not seek to recoup the money they could have made had the scandal never been brought to light in 2015, and their family’s reality show, 19 Kids & Counting not been cancelled.
While the girls aren’t seeking lost wages, they are seeking enough money so that they can have a “life care plan” put together and get into therapy to recover from the emotional distress the scandal caused.
The Ashley can exclusive reveal that, during a Status Conference held back in April, one of the attorneys representing the Duggar girls stated that it was not even worth the trouble for the girls to seek lost wages, since they were paid so little for appearing on “19 Kids & Counting” and its spin-off Counting On.
(Jill’s husband Derick Dillard has stated in the past that the girls’ father Jim Bob Duggar was the only one who was really paid for appearing on the family’s shows. The Duggar girls’ lawyer’s statement seems to confirm that Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy were paid very little for appearing.)
“We are not seeking—we’re not going to seek any damages for lost wages, lost past earnings or lost future earnings,” the girls’ attorney, Steven Bledsoe told the judge during the 2021 Status Conference. “The categories of damages we’re going to seek—it’s basically all going to be based on the witnesses’ testimony.”
He stated that the Duggar girls just want to win enough in damages to pay for therapy.
“[We want] a life care plan involving the cost of therapeutic intervention in these four women’s lives over a period of time to address the emotional issues that are arisen from this nationwide disclosure since they’re public figures. And then the emotional distress-type damages and punitive damages,” he stated.
The judge, Timothy Brooks, (who is the same judge who presided over Josh’s recent trial for receiving and possessing child sex abuse materials) seemed to be surprised that the Duggar girls were not planning to ask for lost wages, despite “19 Kids & Counting” getting cancelled because of the release of the police report.
“But just to be sure I understand what you’re saying about damages, the [Duggar girls] were on a television program that ultimately was cancelled and at least there was a temporal relationship to the cancelling of the programming with the disclosures that were made [in that police report],” Judge Brooks says, again wanting to clarify that the girls aren’t going to seek out lost wages.
“Do I hear you saying that the Plaintiffs are not seeking any damages from any resulting economic impact the disclosure of this information on their TV careers, for lack of a better term?”
The girls’ attorney then confirmed, stating that the girls were paid very little for their work, and that most of the money earned from the shows went to “the family.”
“That is correct, Your Honor….Frankly, on the way the TV show was set up, the family got most of the money,” Attorney Bledsoe stated. “The girls were working, I don’t know what the numbers were, but for 15 or 20 dollars an hour. That aspect of the case would take more trouble to try, cost more in experts than we think makes sense because we think that the guts of the case is the emotional damages and costs to these girls.”
On Friday, The Sun reported that Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy have agreed to a settlement conference next month. Should nothing be settled at that conference, the girls’ trial will begin as scheduled in April.
(Photos: Instagram; TLC)