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Fox News has reached a settlement with Joel and Mary Rich, the couple who sued the network for emotional distress over a false story that Fox promoted on the air for almost a week about the 2016 death of their son, Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

The Washington Post:  Rich, 27, was fatally shot in Washington, D.C., in what local police described as a botched robbery, but his death spawned a web of conspiracy theories.

The Riches claimed the network “intentionally exploited” their son’s killing for political purposes, and sued in 2018 claiming emotional distress.

The story, published on foxnews.com, set off a frenzy among conservative news outlets with its inaccurate claim that investigators found evidence that Rich had leaked embarrassing emails from the DNC to Wikileaks, which published them.

In fact, there was no evidence that Rich had anything to do with the leak.

Fox retracted the story six days later for not meeting “editorial standards.”

Still, it was celebrated among some conservatives, who suggested it showed that the leak was an inside job, not a result of a computer hack by Russian agents who were trying to boost Donald Trump’s campaign, as special counsel Robert Mueller later concluded following a lengthy investigation.

And Fox News heavily promoted the story, with its claims repeated on “Fox and Friends” and programs hosted by Lou Dobbs, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, despite pleas from Rich’s family.

Fox and Rich’s parents filed a joint notice in a U.S. District Court in New York dismissing the lawsuit last week.

“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,” the Riches said in a statement released by their lawyers. “We are pleased with the settlement of this matter and sincerely hope that the media will take genuine caution in the future.”

Fox News said in a statement: “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.”

Rich’s parents on Tuesday said: “We now look forward to devoting as much time and energy as we can to family and to preserving Seth’s memory as a blessing.”


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