×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox News Sued by Parents of Slain DNC Staffer Seth Rich

The parents of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich sued Fox News on Tuesday, accusing the network of fabricating a conspiracy involving their son and Wikileaks in order to boost ratings.

Joel and Mary Rich filed suit in federal court in New York, seeking unspecified damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress and other claims. On May 16, 2017, Fox News published a story on its website asserting that Seth Rich had leaked thousands of emails to Wikileaks before he was shot and killed in July 2016.

The network retracted the story a week later, saying it did not meet the network’s standards. However, the suit alleges that the story fueled a conspiracy theory that continues to cause them harm. For example, they say they still feel compelled to read articles, tweets and internet postings regarding their son, in order to defend him from attacks on his character.

“Defendants’ outrageous conduct prevented them from coming to terms with his murder because they were repeatedly forced to relive it,” the suit states. “Whatever progress they had made in accepting Seth’s death and moving forward was completely derailed by Defendants’ outrageous behavior.”

The lawsuit names the reporter, Malia Zimmerman, and political operative Ed Butowsky as defendants, in addition to the network. It does not name Rod Wheeler, the private investigator who was cited in the retracted story, and who sued Fox last year, alleging he was misquoted.

Asked about the Rich family’s suit, a Fox spokesperson said, “We can’t comment on this pending litigation.”

According to the complaint, Butowsky used the Rich family’s Jewish heritage in order to gain their trust, contacting them through a member of their temple. Butowsky persuaded them to hire Wheeler, who had done work for Fox News, in order to help investigate their son’s murder, the suit claims. The contract barred Wheeler from discussing the case with third parties without the Rich family’s permission. Unbeknownst to them, however, Wheeler was working with Butowsky and Zimmerman on the article at the same time, and Butowsky and Wheeler even briefed White House communications director Sean Spicer on the story’s progress.

Since their son’s murder, the Rich family has consistently had to refute the idea of a connection between Seth and Wikileaks. 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. Nevertheless, the suit notes that Butowksy has been quoted saying that the Rich family confirmed to him that their son leaked the emails.

Even after the story fell apart, the suit states that “Fox continued to exploit the sham story because it was good for ratings.”

Seth Rich Fox Lawsuit by gmaddaus on Scribd

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein legal team

    Harvey Weinstein Loses Another Defense Lawyer

    Harvey Weinstein has lost another defense lawyer, just three months before he is set to go on trial for rape and sexual assault. Attorney Jose Baez told the judge overseeing the case that Weinstein had taken actions that made it difficult to represent him, according to a letter obtained by the New York Post. Baez [...]

  • https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/kindred_spirits_2019_v7.jpg

    Kindred Spirits Host Fundraiser for Child Refugees

    The Kids Entertainment Professionals for Young Refugees will host its third annual Kindred Spirits fundraising campaign this month on behalf of UNICEF and in coordination with World Refugee Day, which is Thursday. The grassroots, volunteer organization’s online fundraiser will take place from June 14-27, and 100% of every donation made will benefit UNICEF. “We call [...]

  • Vid Angel

    VidAngel Hit with $62.4 Million Judgment for Pirating Movies

    A jury on Monday ordered VidAngel to pay $62.4 million to Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. for streaming hundreds of movies on its service without permission. The verdict is potentially a death blow to the Utah-based company, which sought to allow family audiences to watch Hollywood fare while skipping past violence, sex, and other objectionable [...]

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Nicholas Sparks Apologizes, Explains Opposition to LGBT Club

    Romance writer Nicholas Sparks issued an apology on Monday for remarks he made in 2013 opposing the formation of an LGBT club at his Christian school. In an email published last week by the Daily Beast, Sparks faulted Saul Benjamin, who was then the headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, for pushing an [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 Production

    'Game of Thrones,' Netflix VFX Among Those to Be Featured in SIGGRAPH Production Talks

    VFX pros behind the final season of “Game of Thrones,” the blockbuster film “Avengers: Endgame,” Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story 4,” last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Netflix series, including “Stranger Things,” and more will give SIGGRAPH 2019 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at their work during the conference’s Production Sessions. There will even be a [...]

  • welcome home Apple Ad

    Cannes Lions Takes Place in Time of Change for Ad World

    The ad industry gathers June 17-21 for its annual celebration of commercials, marketing and creativity, the Cannes Lions in the French Riviera. It does so against a backdrop of ongoing and profound upheaval within the world of advertising. The share prices of all the major ad groups, such as WPP, Publicis and Omnicom, are down [...]

  • R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With

    R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With Interscope Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records, the company announced exclusively to Variety today. “Ann Marie is the prototype for today’s artist,” says Nicole Wyskoarko, the label’s EVP of urban operations. “She’s developed and cultivated a dedicated fan base using the tools of today [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content