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Parents of Seth Rich Sue Fox News, Ed Butowsky Over 2017 Story About His Murder

Joel and Mary Rich talk about their lawsuit on ABC News.

The parents of Seth Rich filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Fox News, a Fox news reporter, and a wealthy Texas businessman over their roles in a story purporting that Rich was the source for Democratic Nation Committee emails leaked to WikiLeaks.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and seeks compensation for "mental anguish and emotional distress, emotional pain and suffering, and any other physical and mental injuries."

"No parent should ever have to live through what we have been forced to endure," Joel and Mary Rich said in a statement Tuesday night. "The pain and anguish that comes from seeing your murdered son's life and legacy treated as a mere political football is beyond comprehension."

The lawsuit alleges that Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman worked with Ed Butowsky, the Texas businessman, to concoct a "sham" story about Rich's death that Fox News published in May 2017 and reported on air multiple times.

The Rich family has always denied that their son was the source of the leaked emails from the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, but Butowsky, who reached out to to the family months after Rich's murder, says they told him otherwise.

Butowsky, a former senior vice president at Morgan Stanley and a frequent Fox Business Network guest, claims he approached Joel and Mary Rich, who live in Omaha, Neb., in December of 2016 with a tip he had gotten about their son being the WikiLeaks source.

Butowsky told PJ Media in a phone conversation that Rich's parents said, "Ed, we've known that since July -- that's nothing new."  He claimed that Rich's parents and brother Aaron were interested in finding out who murdered their son, but for various reasons, they didn't want his alleged role in the WikiLeaks caper to get out.

He apparently respected that wish in an interview with CNN in August of 2017. When asked by host Chris Cuomo what he said to the Rich family when he reached out to them, Butowsky replied that he had shared the information he'd heard about their son and WikiLeaks. Asked what their reaction was, Butowsky answered that Rich's parents told him they didn't believe him.

Now he's changed his story. Former Admiral James Lyons first reported the turnaround in an op-ed at the Washington Times on March 1.

According to Ed Butowsky, an acquaintance of the family, in his discussions with Joel and Mary Rich, they confirmed that their son transmitted the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

Since then, the DNC hired a “spokesperson,” Brad Burman, a known hatchet man to basically cut off any further communications with Mr. Rich’s parents. Interestingly, it is well known in the intelligence circles that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron Rich, downloaded the DNC emails and was paid by Wikileaks for that information.