Covington student Nick Sandmann settles $250M Washington Post lawsuit for defamation over March for Life video
Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann scored a major victory against the proliferation of 'fake news' after The Washington Post became the latest news organization to settle a defamation lawsuit over its controversial coverage of the Kentucky teen's confrontation with a Native American elder who had portrayed him as the aggressor. "On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post," Sandmann wrote on Friday. "Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit. Thanks to @ToddMcMurtry & @LLinWood for their advocacy. Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me. I still have more to do," he wrote on Friday. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but each side will bear its own costs.
This is Sandmann's second victory following CNN's multi-million dollar settlement back in January.
That said, the teen student also issued a warning to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. "We have settled with WAPO and CNN. The fight isn’t over. 2 down. 6 to go. Don’t hold your breath @jack," Sandmann tweeted.
Lin Wood, Sandmann's attorney, added, "For our present to @N1ckSandmann to celebrate his 18th Birthday, @ToddMcMurtry & I gave Nicholas the gift of justice from . . . THE WASHINGTON POST #FightBack." Meanwhile, a spokesperson for The Washington Post told Fox News, "We are pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the remaining claims in this lawsuit."
Sandmann's attorneys had filed a suit against CNN in March 2019 for its premature coverage of the incident before the facts on the ground had emerged. Shortly after, it was revealed that the teenager was seeking a staggering $800 million in damages from CNN, NBC, and the Post. The Post was accused of practicing "a modern-day form of McCarthyism" by targeting Sandmann and "using its vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles ... to smear a young boy who was in its view an acceptable casualty in their war against the president," according to Sandmann's lawsuit filed in a federal court in Kentucky.
Attorney Todd McMurtry previously told Fox News that lawsuits would be filed against “as many as 13 other defendants." These included ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NPR, Slate, The Hill, and Gannett which owns the Cincinnati Inquirer, McMurtry said. Besides, separate lawsuits had already been filed against the Washington Post and NBC. The controversy stemmed from a viral video clip that depicted the "MAGA" hat-wearing student smiling at elder Nathan Phillips, who was beating a drum and chanting, before Sandmann's friends also joined in on the chant in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. But the incident was portrayed as racially charged by several mainstream media outlets like The Washington Post and CNN. Additional footage later emerged to show that the confrontation was provoked by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites, who hurled racial slurs at the students as they waited for their bus following the March for Life event.
Phillips, who was attending the Indigenous Peoples March, was then found to have approached the students first as tensions rose between the two groups, Fox News reported.