The family of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich has filed a lawsuit against Fox News, an investigative reporter, and frequent contributor to the network over claims that Rich, who was killed in 2016, was the victim of a vast political conspiracy.
Rich, who was 27-years-old, was shot multiple times in the back in what investigators concluded was a botched robbery. The incident took place in Washington D.C. back in July of 2016, and rumors among conspiracists speculated that he was murdered in order to keep him quiet about a massive WikiLeaks data dump of 20,000 DNC emails that took place after this death.
Rich’s parents, Joel and Mary Rich, claim that Fox News investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman and Fox News commenter Ed Butowsky misled the family about their intentions while bolstering stories that claimed Seth Rich leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks, according to a copy of the suit obtained by ABC News.
The lawsuit claims that Fox News, Zimmerman and Butowsky are liable because they “aided and abetted the intentional infliction of emotional distress” caused by the “sham story” that was elevated in a national platform. The family says the “defendants’ conduct was extreme and outrageous” in deliberately portraying Rich as a “criminal and traitor to the United States.”
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 14, 2018
“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” Joel and Mary Rich said in a statement.
Rich family lawyer Leonard A. Gail said the suit was brought to hold Fox News “accountable for their reprehensible actions.”
“Whether motivated by party politics, ratings, corporate profit, or personal gain, we hope to help prevent this kind of malicious and reckless behavior in the future so that others can be spared the hell the Riches have had to endure,” he said according to ABC News.
Speaking to ABC, Butowsky called the lawsuit “one of the dumbest” he’d ever seen. “Mr. and Mrs. Rich should come forward and be honest with people,” he said.
Fox News declined to comment, saying they had not yet read the complaint.
Featured image via nydailynews.com.