The parents of Seth Rich, a former Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in July 2016, said in an interview published Thursday that they felt their son was “murdered again” when Fox News published a since-retracted story linking their son to the hack and release of thousands of DNC emails.
“Your son is murdered again, and this time it’s worse than the first time,” Seth Rich’s mother Mary Rich told ABC News. “We lost his body this first time, and the second time we lost his soul. They took more from us with the lies. We want our son’s life, and his soul restored.”
The Rich family on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Fox News, reporter Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky, a Republican donor who occasionally appeared on air. The lawsuit alleges that Zimmerman and Butowsky reached out to the Riches under false pretenses and claimed that they wanted to help solve Seth Rich’s murder, but later painted their son as a criminal and a traitor, according to ABC News.
A Fox News spokesperson told TPM that the network “can’t comment on this pending litigation.”
In July 2016, Seth Rich was shot in the back several times and later died in the hospital. Police said that Rich may have been the victim of a botched robbery, but his murder still remains unsolved. Fox News in May 2017 published a story where it falsely claimed that Seth Rich was murdered because he was involved in the hack and release of thousands of DNC emails in the summer of 2016.
The U.S. intelligence community in October 2016 said that the Russian government was behind the hacks. Fox News retracted the story about Seth Rich just days after it was published, but the family claims the damage was still significant.
Mary Rich told ABC News that her son’s “computer didn’t have anything on it,” and that Fox News “took a rumor and ran with it” and never called the family to check any facts.
“What has to come out is the truth, and hopefully when we take it to court, they’ll hear it again, what we’ve told them already,” she said. “I want the people who started the lies, who are responsible for lies to be held accountable. This has got to stop.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 15, 2018