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Saturday, July 25, 2020
Washington Post settles Nicholas Sandmann defamation lawsuit in Covington Catholic High School controversy
The Washington Post is the latest news organization to settle a defamation lawsuit launched by Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann over its botched coverage of a viral confrontation with a Native American elder that had portrayed the Kentucky teen as the aggressor.
Sandmann announced the victory on Twitter.
"On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. 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," Sandmann wrote on Friday.
This follows the multi-million dollar settlement CNN made with the teenager back in January.
Sandmann offered a not-so-subtle 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.
Sandmann's attorney, Lin Wood, similarly wrote, "For our present to @N1ckSandmann to celebrate his 18th Birthday, @ToddMcMurtry & I gave Nicholas the gift of justice from . . . THE WASHINGTON POST #FightBack."
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."
In March 2019, Sandmann's attorneys filed a suit against CNN for its coverage of the incident before all the facts had surfaced. The teen was seeking a whopping $800 million in damages from CNN, NBC and the Post.
Attorney Todd McMurtry previously told Fox News that lawsuits against “as many as 13 other defendants" would be filed.
Among them: ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NPR, Slate, The Hill, and Gannett which owns the Cincinnati Enquirer, as well as miscellaneous other small outfits, according to McMurtry. Separate lawsuits against the Washington Post and NBC have already been filed, he added.
Sandmann was swept up in a controversy after a video clip depicted the "MAGA" hat-wearing student smiling at Nathan Phillips beating a drum and singing a chant as he was surrounded by Sandmann's peers, who all had joined in on the chant in front of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
However, several mainstream media outlets, including CNN and The Washington Post, portrayed the incident with Sandmann and the other teens as being racially charged before additional footage later showed that a group of Black Hebrew Israelites had provoked the confrontation, slinging racial slurs at the students as they were waiting for their bus following the March For Life event.
Footage then showed Phillips, who was in town for the Indigenous Peoples March, approaching the students amid the rising tension between the two groups.
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