The family of slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich has finally reached a settlement with Fox News.
This comes more than 2 1/2 years after the Rich family filed a lawsuit with Fox News over a since-retracted story about allegations Rich was involved in a Wikileaks conspiracy.
In the original lawsuit from March 2018, the Rich family claimed that Fox News investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman and Fox News guest commentator Ed Butowsky reached out to the family under false pretenses to support stories that Rich leaked thousands of DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In their lawsuit, the Rich’s said they experienced post-traumatic stress disorder because of the since-retracted reports and attempted to hold Fox News, Zimmerman and Butowsky liable for “intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), tortious interference with the Rich’s contract with Wheeler, and negligent supervision.”
A New York federal judge ended up granting Fox News’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit that summer.
Rich was murdered in the early morning hours of July 10, 2016 about a block from his apartment in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. He had been an employee of the Democratic National Committee. Zimmerman wrote the initial story for FoxNews.com which continued to get coverage on Fox News, primarily on Hannity, until May 2017, when Fox finally retracted the story eight days later.
Joel and Mary Rich said in a statement, obtained by NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik:
Joel and Mary Rich: “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… We are pleased with the settlement of this matter & sincerely hope the media will take genuine caution in the future”
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) November 24, 2020
Fox News provided TVNewser with the following 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.”