Covington Catholic teen sues CNN for $275M for "falsely attacking, vilifying and bullying him" over Lincoln Memorial incident
The 16-year-old high school student's attorneys reportedly filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking $75 million in compensatory and $200 million in punitive damages
The teenager from Covington Catholic High School, Kentucky, Nicholas Sandmann, who was falsely accused of harassing a Native American activist in a viral clip in January, has sued CNN for $257 million for its coverage of the incident.
The 16-year-old high school student's attorneys reportedly filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in the Eastern District of Kentucky, seeking $75 million in compensatory and $200 million in punitive damages, the Daily Mail reported.
The teen was widely portrayed as racist when a clip of him wearing a Make America Great Again hat and standing face-to-face with activist Nathan Phillips went viral online on January 18. Phillips reportedly claimed he had been surrounded by the group of Catholic teens and abused while they were on a school trip.
However, an extensive footage of the same clip appeared to tell a different story, suggesting that the teenagers were the ones being abused with racist and homophobic slurs by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites. It is after this that Phillips walked into the middle of the school groups with his drum.
MAGA hat-wearing teen, Nicholas Sandmann, from the Lincoln Memorial protest is suing CNN for defamation, seeking $275 million in damages.— Complex (@Complex) March 13, 2019
He's also suing The Washington Post for $250M on the basis that the publication allegedly "targeted and bullied" him. https://t.co/wcTQ3k63fE pic.twitter.com/0NIJJxBqNo
Sandmann's attorneys, in the complaint, alleged CNN was blinded by political bias and defamed the teenager in an effort to smear President Donald Trump and his supporters. "CNN brought down the full force of its corporate power, influence, and wealth on Nicholas by falsely attacking, vilifying, and bullying him despite the fact that he was a minor child," the complaint stated.
"CNN ignored the facts and put its anti-Trump agenda first in waging a 7-day media campaign of false, vicious attacks against Nicholas, a young boy who was guilty of little more than wearing a souvenir Make America Great Again cap while on a high school field trip," the complaint added.
The court filing said CNN had falsely accused Sandmann of "instigating a threatening confrontation with several African American men ('the Black Hebrew Israelites') and subsequently instigating a threatening confrontation with Native Americans who were in the midst of prayer following the Indigenous Peoples March at the National Mall."
"In fact, it was Nicholas and his CovCath classmates who were bullied, attacked, and confronted with racist and homophobic slurs and threats of violence by the Black Hebrew Israelites, a recognized hate group, before being unexpectedly confronted by Phillip, an activist, who proceeded to target Nicholas while chanting and beating a drum inches from his face and being flanked by activists companions filming the event," the complaint added.
Sandmann had earlier filed a suit against the Washington Post for $50 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages.