Slain DNC Staffer Seth Rich's Family Sues Fox News Over Conspiracy Story

Slain DNC Staffer Seth Rich's Family Sues Fox News Over Conspiracy Story

That's from a lawsuit filed by the family of Seth Rich against Fox News, an investigative reporter and a network contributor over a retracted report by the outlet that added fuel to the conspiracy that the slain Democratic National Committee staffer was killed because of his ties to Wikileaks. On May 16, Fox News ran a story alleging that the staffer had leaked thousands of internal DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

ABC News reported Tuesday night that Joel and Mary Rich, the parents of former DNC employee Seth Rich who was murdered in 2016, are suing the network for contacting them and using their quotes under false pretenses.

Rich was shot twice in the early morning hours of July 10, 2016, not far from his home in Washington, D.C. He died soon after at a nearby hospital. The report quoted an unnamed federal investigator who claimed to have "seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and Wikileaks" and was heavily promoted on Fox. Wheeler was the only named source in the article that spurred conspiracy theories on the death of Seth Rich.

The story prompted a massive outcry, including from Rich's family.

According to the Riches' complaint, Butowsky, an occasional Fox guest and longtime Republican surrogate based in Texas, allegedly conspired with Zimmerman to promote the claims about Rich and Wikileaks.

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While FoxNews.com swiftly retracted the story after it was debunked, Fox News's Sean Hannity bizarrely continued to cover the story unabated on his primetime show, despite all available evidence and pleas from the family to stop exploiting their son's murder for political gain.

In a statement, Leonard A. Gail, the lawyer representing the Rich family, said: "Joel and Mary Rich have brought this case" to hold the defendants "accountable for their reprehensible actions".

Fox News declined to comment, citing pending litigation. In the suit, they say they repeatedly told Butowsky that there was no way their son could be connected to the dump of DNC emails. The defendants allegedly "aided and abetted the intentional infliction of emotional distress" with the story and that Fox provided a national platform for what was termed a "sham story".

On Tuesday Joel and Mary Rich filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY and are seeking damages for "mental anguish and emotional distress, emotional pain and suffering, and any other physical and mental injuries", according to court documents. "The pain and anguish that comes from seeing your murdered son's life and legacy treated as a mere political football is beyond comprehension", the couple said in a statement. "Mr. and Mrs. Rich should come forward and be honest with people", he said.

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