Family of Seth Rich Sues Fox News Over Retracted Article

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Sean Hannity, of Fox News, was one of the most vocal proponents of the theory, although he eventually backed off after his network’s retraction.

Fox News said on Tuesday that it could not comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit was first reported by ABC News.

The suit’s allegations zero in on the role of Mr. Butowsky, a wealthy Trump supporter whose involvement in the Fox News coverage of Mr. Rich is already the subject of a separate lawsuit.

In August, a private detective hired by the Rich family sued Fox News for defamation and racial discrimination, claiming that the network had fabricated quotes attributed to him as part of a coordinated effort with the White House to smear Mr. Rich. (Fox News denied the charges, and Mr. Wheeler has since dropped his discrimination claim.) The detective, Rod Wheeler, who was himself a Fox News contributor, also claimed that Mr. Butowsky had coordinated with the Trump administration to plant the story.

Mr. Wheeler said that Mr. Butowsky met with Sean Spicer, then the White House press secretary, to discuss the investigation into Mr. Rich’s death shortly before the Fox News story was published. The White House confirmed that the Spicer meeting occurred, but denied any involvement in the story by the administration.

Mr. Rich’s parents, Joel and Mary Rich, claim in the new lawsuit that Mr. Butowsky took advantage of their grief over their son’s death to ingratiate himself into their lives and manipulate them into hiring Mr. Wheeler to aid with their investigation.

In a statement on Tuesday, Joel and Mary Rich wrote: “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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