Nicholas Sandmann announces settlement with Washington Post in defamation lawsuit
Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student whose interaction last year with Omaha Tribe elder Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial went viral, announced Friday that he had reached a settlement in his defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post.
The settlement amount in the $250 million lawsuit was not made public by Sandmann’s attorneys or the Post.
Sandmann is being represented by L. Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry, a Kentucky attorney who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Thomas Massie (R) in the Kentucky GOP primary last month.
"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 tweeted, tagging his attorneys.
Kris Coratti, a spokesperson for the Post, said in a statement that the newspaper is "pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the remaining claims in this lawsuit."
Coratti did not respond to questions from The Hill about the settlement amount.
The judge overseeing the case — U.S. District Judge William Odis Bertelsman, a Carter appointee — initially dismissed the lawsuit against the Post last July, but Sandmann refiled his suit with a narrower scope.
The revised lawsuit alleged the newspaper’s coverage mischaracterized Sandmann's encounter with Phillips, who had participated in the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C., and tarnished his reputation. Sandmann was in town with classmates from his high school for the annual March For Life event.
In the viral video, Sandmann is seen wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap during the encounter and without full context appears to show him taunting Phillips, who is in his 60s. More extensive footage of the incident later emerged, showing that a group of Black Hebrew Israelites appeared to instigate the confrontation.
In January, Sandmann settled a similar lawsuit against CNN after seeking $275 million in damages. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.
Sandmann has filed lawsuits against other media outlets that covered the encounter.
"The fight isn’t over. 2 down. 6 to go," Sandmann tweeted Friday, referring to amount of media companies he has sued.
He also signaled at potential litigation against Twitter, the platform where the viral video was predominantly shared.
"Don’t hold your breath @jack," he tweeted, tagging Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.