Duggar Court Docs Reveal Strategic Plan to Get Josh Duggar Back on TV

Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial isn’t the only Duggar court case Judge Timothy L. Brooks heard in recent history. Aside from Josh’s criminal trial, the Duggar sisters filed a lawsuit against the city of Springdale over the police report outlining sexual abuse in the Duggar family home that was released in 2015. The case has since been dismissed, and court records have been made public. One document suggests Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were hoping to bring Josh back onto the family’s reality TV show following his 2015 scandal.

Jill Dillard, Jessa Seewald, Joy-Anna Forsyth, and Jinger Vuolo sued the city of Springdale

In 2017, Jill Dillard, Jessa Seewald, Jinger Vuolo, and Joy-Anna Forsyth filed a lawsuit against the city of Springdale and several city workers. In the lawsuit, they claimed the city had breached their privacy. The case argued that city employees did not follow proper protocol when dealing with the names of victims of sex crimes. The lawsuit stemmed from the release of a police report that made it easy to identify the four sisters as Josh Duggar’s molestation victims. The city released the document as part of a FOIA request.

Judge Timothy L. Brooks dismissed the lawsuit in February 2022. Following the dismissal, documents about the case were made available to the public. The records contain several bombshell revelations. Jill, in her testimony, accused her father, Jim Bob Duggar, of being verbally abusive and controlling. In an email submitted as evidence, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar conversed with their representative about the potential of getting Josh Duggar back on TV.

Jim Bob and Michelle were thinking of ways to get Josh Duggar back on TV

Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal rocked the world. The Duggar family appeared to treat it with little reverence, according to recent court documents. A legal brief submitted by the defense in the Duggar sisters’ lawsuit against the city of Springdale outlined how the Duggar family’s PR representative hoped to get Josh Duggar back on tv.

Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar appear on 'Today'
Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar | Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The family’s PR professional, Chad Gallagher, emailed the Duggar family in 2015, outlining how they would “reintroduce” the topic of Josh Duggar to TLC after getting a “read” on the network. In the filing, Gallagher went on to detail a strategy that would help them retain their television show. A secondary goal was to reintroduce Josh. The plan also outlined how the family should deal with social media posts in the wake of the scandal.

Josh Duggar never returned to TLC

The Duggar family might have hoped to get Josh Duggar back on their reality TV show, but it never materialized. TLC didn’t completely sever ties with the Duggars, but it came close. Instead of completely walking away from the family, the network rebranded the show as Counting On

Duggar family members appear on 'Today'
The Duggars | Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Instead of following Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who had been lambasted in the media for their handling of the sexual abuse inside their home, Counting On documented Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald as they grew their own families. Over time, more siblings joined the cast as they, too, married and had children. TLC slowly added Jim Bob and Michelle back into the show. Anna Duggar appeared occasionally. Counting On never featured Josh. In fact, the network went out of its way to ensure he was never visible on camera.  

Shortly after Josh Duggar’s arrest on child pornography charges, TLC canceled Counting On. In a public statement, the network noted that they had not worked directly with Josh Duggar in several years. The announcement explained that TLC had opted to cancel the show so the family could deal with the matter privately. The Duggar family does not appear to have any plans on returning to network television. 

How to get help: If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free and confidential support.

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