Slain DNC Staffer's Parents Speak Out on Fox News Lawsuit
"I want the people who started the lies, who are responsible for the lies, held accountable," Seth Rich's mother told 'Good Morning America' Thursday, as she and her husband publicly addressed their battle with the cable channel.
The parents of murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich are continuing to fight for justice for their son's legacy, publicly addressing their lawsuit against Fox News during an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America Thursday. After Fox News retracted its story that suggested Rich was a traitor to the U.S. government and leaked a number of internal DNC emails to WikiLeaks, Rich's mother, Mary, spoke out in defense of her son, hoping the "lies" will cease and the correct people will be "held accountable."
"I want the people who started the lies, who are responsible for the lies, held accountable," Rich told ABC News' Tom Llamas. "This has got to stop in America, and we're going to try to help stop it."
Seth Rich, 27, was shot in the back in Washington, D.C., in July while working as a voter-expansion data director for the Democratic National Committee. Two months prior to Rich's death, Fox News had run a report alleging that he leaked the emails, which later sparked conspiracy theories that his death was connected to the story.
Unable to comprehend what Fox News reported, Rich's parents later wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, asking conservative media outlets to "stop politicizing" their son's death, resulting in Fox News retracting its article. The parents later sued the network for intentional infliction of emotional distress, claiming they have become "collateral damage" within the current political world.
Joel and Mary Rich also claimed that Fox News and guest Ed Butowsky convinced them to hire contributor Rod Wheeler to solve their son's murder. They did, but the ex-cop then created a fictional story that painted their son as a traitor.
"Your son is murdered again, and this time it's worse than the first time," Rich's mother said of the "explosion of hell" they have endured while grieving for their son. "We lost his body this first time, and the second time we lost his soul. They took more from us with the lies."
Rich's father, Joel, shared the same sentiments, arguing that the conspiracy theories that followed their son's death have made him and his wife unable to "grieve and cope" with their loss.
"We want our son's life and his soul restored," Mary continued. "And I want our life back so we can move forward again." She also argued she believes Fox News simply "took a rumor and ran with it," and now her family's "lives will never be the same."
Believing that their son would have "never" leaked the emails, Mary hopes their lawsuit could reveal the truth they know. "What has to come out is the truth, and hopefully when we take it to court, they'll hear it again, what we've told them already," Mary said. "His computer didn't have anything on it. He would never have done it, and maybe going to court they'll finally listen."
She also added, "This is about being a true American, about telling the truth and about having dignity and responsibility." His parents also explained that they were told by law enforcement that their son's death could've been attributed to a robbery, despite none of Seth's belongings being missing.
In a statement, Fox News told The Hollywood Reporter, "We can't comment on this pending litigation."
Seth Rich's murder remains unsolved.