Fox News is being sued by the family of the man whose suicide the network accidentally aired live last September.
The network had been following a high speed car chase in Arizona when the driver, later identified as JoDon Romero, spontaneously jumped out of his car and shot himself in the head. Shepard Smith was reporting the story live, following the strange scene as Romero’s car pulled off the road into a grassy field.
Helicopter cameras caught Romero, apparently in a hopeless situation, put a gun to his head and pull the trigger. Smith shouted for producers to cut away when he saw Romero put the gun to his head, but it was too late.
Smith apologized profusely, saying: “We really messed up. And we’re all very sorry.”
Now, Angela Rodriguez, the mother of three of Romero’s children, is suing both Fox News and its parent company News Corp. in Maricopa County Court. She is claiming “emotional distress” to her children, claiming that two of the kids heard about the suicide while they were at school.
They watched the clip online when they got home and realized it was their father.
Rodriguez says that the children “have been, and continue to be, severely traumatized” by the footage. They have flashbacks, trauma, sleep disturbances and intrusive thoughts, and are so depressed that they cannot go to school.
Executive vice-president of news editorial Michael Clemente called Fox News’ suicide broadcast “a severe human error.”
You can watch video of the Fox News suicide below, but be warned: It is graphic and shocking.