Teen Settles Lawsuit with Washington Post Over Viral Story
The Washington Post says it has settled a lawsuit brought by the family of a teenager at the center of a viral video controversy involving the teen’s encounter with a Native American activist in Washington last year.
The Post said Friday it admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement with the family of Nicholas Sandmann. The family sued the Post for $250 million along with other news outlets for defamation over their coverage of Sandmann who traveled to Washington in January 2019 as part of a school trip from Kentucky. Neither side disclosed the terms of the settlement, which allows both sides to avoid a potentially lengthy trial. Sandmann celebrated the settlement on Twitter. “Thanks to my family and millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me,” he wrote. “I still have more to do.” We have settled with WAPO and CNN. The fight isn’t over. 2 down. 6 to go.Don’t hold your breath @jack.— Nicholas Sandmann (@N1ckSandmann) July 24, 2020The teen was at the center of a national news story last year when his Covington Catholic High School group attended the annual March for Life rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. A first video showed only Sandmann, who was wearing a Make America Great Again hat, and his face-to-face encounter with Native American Nathan Phillips, who was attending the Indigenous Peoples March on the same day and was chanting a beating drum. Other students chanted nearby.Philips said the students blocked his path and accused them of ridiculing him.
A later video provided additional context for the encounter that included a group of men from a group called Black Hebrew Israelites who were seen taunting the students from Sandmann’s school.The Post said Sandman’s family accused the paper of casting the episode in political terms, saying it had “targeted and bullied” the teenager to embarrass Trump. The paper has maintained that its reporting of the incident was accurate and fair. It said it was entitled to report Phillips’ view of the encounter and said it also reported Sandmann’s account once it was available. Last July, a federal judge in Kentucky dismissed the Sandmanns’ suit against the Post, but later reinstated part of the lawsuit while limiting its scope.