Sources: Fox News to Pay Seth Rich's Parents 7 Figures

Network settled lawsuit before its stars could be deposed
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2020 11:28 AM CST
Sources: Fox News to Pay Seth Rich's Parents 7 Figures
In this Aug. 1, 2017 file photo, people pass the News Corporation headquarters building and Fox News studios in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The parents of Seth Rich have reached a settlement with Fox News, which put forth the conspiracy theory that the Democratic National Committee staffer killed in what police said was a robbery gone wrong in 2016 was instead murdered after leaking Democratic emails to WikiLeaks. A recent Yahoo investigation found the story had been pushed by Russia, apparently to distract from its own role in leaking the emails. Fox's 2017 story was mentioned widely across the network before it was retracted a week later for failing to meet a "high degree of editorial scrutiny." Still, the conspiracy theory continued to spread. Joel and Mary Rich of Omaha, Neb., subsequently sued the network for emotional distress, arguing Fox had "intentionally exploited" their son's murder for political reasons, per the Washington Post.

On Tuesday, the couple filed a notice to dismiss the suit. Financial terms were not disclosed, though Yahoo's sources say the Rich family will receive a "seven figure payment." In a statement, the couple says they're "pleased with the settlement," which "closes another chapter in our efforts to mourn the murder of our beloved Seth, whom we miss every single day," per CNN. They also express "hope that the media will take genuine caution in the future." A Fox News rep says the network is similarly pleased and hopes the settlement brings the family "a small degree of peace and solace moving forward." The lawsuit had been thrown out in August 2018, before the ruling was overturned last year. Yahoo reports Fox "threw in the towel" just as Fox personalities including Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs were to be deposed. (More Seth Rich stories.)

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