The parents of Seth Rich filed suit against Fox News on Tuesday, saying the network and its employees deliberately misrepresented facts surrounding the 2016 murder of their son Seth to publish a “sham story” using “fabricated facts.”
The lawsuit, which also named reporters Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky in their “professional capacity,” says the network created the false narrative that Rich, a DNC staffer, had been the source of for emails obtained by Wikileaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.
A story Fox News published contending the same was retracted in May of 2017.
“Joel and Mary Rich, grieving parents of a murdered child, seek justice for having become collateral damage in a political war to which they are innocent bystanders,” reads the suit. “Joel and Mary bring this case to hold Fox News, Fox reporter Zimmerman, and Fox News contributor and political operative Butowsky accountable. They seek to help prevent similar malicious and reckless conduct to protect future innocent victims from similarly becoming political fodder.”
Butowsky, strictly speaking, is not an official channel contributor but a guest commentator.
News of the suit was first reported by ABC News.
In a statement of their own, Rich’s parents said that Fox’s use of their dead son as a political football had been a heart-wrenching experience for them.
“No parent should ever have to live through what we have been forced to endure. The pain and anguish that comes from seeing your murdered son’s life and legacy treated as a mere political football is beyond comprehension”
Rich, a 27-year-old DNC operative, was found murdered in Washington D.C in July 2016 in what was described at the time as a botched robbery. While the case remains unsolved, Rich’s story was picked up by right-wing media and became the subject of numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the DNC hacking.
Reps for Fox News declined to address the suit.
“We can’t comment on this pending litigation,” a spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement.