Parents of Murdered Capitol Hill Staffer Seth Rich Sue Fox News Over ‘Exploitation’ of His Death

The parents of murdered Capitol Hill staffer Seth Rich are suing Fox News for emotional distress, claiming its coverage of the crime painted their son as a traitor and has prevented them from properly dealing with his death.

Rich was shot in the back in D.C .in July 2016 while employed by the Democratic National Committee, and law enforcement classified the death as a botched robbery. On May 16, Fox News ran a story alleging that the staffer had leaked thousands of internal DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The story went viral and sparked theories that the alleged leak and his death were connected.

Last May, The Washington Post published an op-ed written by Rich’s parents, who asked the conservative media to “stop politicizing” their son’s death. Fox retracted its article that day, and host Sean Hannity said he’d stop discussing the situation “for now.”

At the time, legal experts who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter doubted the dispute would result in a lawsuit because you can’t defame the dead — and prior attempts by other plaintiffs to creatively plead around that claim have failed.

On Tuesday, however, Joel and Mary Rich took a shot. They sued Fox News, as well as reporter Malia Zimmerman and guest Ed Butowsky. The couple claims they have become “collateral damage” in a political war. “No parent should ever have to live through what we have been forced to endure,” said Joel and Mary Rich in a Tuesday statement. “The pain and anguish that comes from seeing your murdered son’s life and legacy treated as a mere political football is beyond comprehension.”

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SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Ashley Cullins