×

Fox News has settled a lawsuit filed by the family of Seth Rich, the slain Democratic National Committee staffer who became the center of right-wing conspiracies about hacked emails.

Joel and Mary Rich filed the suit over a May 2017 story that claimed their son had leaked thousands of DNC emails to Wikileaks before his death. Fox News later retracted the story, saying it was “not initially subjected to [a] high degree of editorial scrutiny.”

Joel and Mary Rich sued the network in March 2018 for infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit was dismissed by a district judge, but later revived by an appeals court.

In a statement, Joel and Mary Rich said they were pleased by the settlement, and said they hoped the media would exercise greater caution in the future.

“The settlement with Fox News closes another chapter in our efforts to mourn the murder of our beloved Seth, whom we miss every single day,” they said. “It allows us to move on from the litigation we initiated in response to Fox News’ May 2017 article and televised statements concerning Seth’s murder. We are pleased with the settlement of this matter and sincerely hope that the media will take genuine caution in the future.”

The parties filed a joint notice dismissing the case in federal court in New York on Tuesday.

Fox News said in a statement, “We are pleased with the resolution of the claims and hope this enables Mr. and Mrs. Rich to find a small degree of peace and solace moving forward.”

Rich was murdered in July 2016, in what was believed to be a botched robbery. No suspects have ever been identified. Conspiracy theories began circulating within weeks, attempting to blame Rich for the leak of the DNC emails, which were published on Wikileaks. The U.S. intelligence community later announced that Russia had been behind the email hacking.

The retraction was believed to be one of the first made of a Fox News story.