Fox News settled with the family of murdered Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich three years after the network was forced to retract a story on Rich, who was at the center of conspiracy theories connecting him to the hack of the DNC.
Rich was shot in 2016, and the family sued Fox News in 2018 after suggestions that he was connected to hacked DNC emails that were published by WikiLeaks shortly after Rich’s death. No hard evidence ever suggested such a connection and the parties settled for an undisclosed amount Tuesday.
“The settlement with Fox News closes another chapter in our efforts to mourn the murder of our beloved Seth, whom we miss every single day,” Rich’s parents Joel and Mary Rich said in a statement according to Variety.
“It allows us to move on from the litigation we initiated in response to Fox News’ May 2017 article and televised statements concerning Seth’s murder,” the statement continued. “We are pleased with the settlement of this matter and sincerely hope that the media will take genuine caution in the future.”
Fox News’ May 2017 retraction noted that the story was “not initially subjected to [a] high degree of editorial scrutiny,” according to Variety. Malia Zimmerman, a reporter who wrote the retracted story, is no longer with Fox News, the network confirmed to NPR.
NEWS: Fox News confirms that reporter Malia Zimmerman, who wrote the retracted May 2017 piece on slain DNC staffer Seth Rich – is no longer with the network. https://t.co/UtvtAcHwnM
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) November 24, 2020
“We are pleased with the resolution of the claims and hope this enables Mr. and Mrs. Rich to find a small degree of peace and solace moving forward,” Fox News told the Daily Caller in a statement Tuesday.
Fox News’ settlement is just the latest in publications settling with subjects of their stories. In January 2020, CNN agreed to settle with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann. This settlement came after multiple news publications took an out-of-context video that falsely showed Sandmann mocking a Native American man, Nathan Phillips, at the March for Life in January 2019.
The Washington Post also settled a lawsuit with Sandmann in January 2020, according to the teenager. Sandmann filed lawsuits against multiple networks after the incident. (RELATED: ‘I Would Not Be Canceled’: Nick Sandmann Calls Out Media For Trying To Silence Him)