You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Washington Post, Nick Sandmann settle $250 million lawsuit out of court

Cincinnati Enquirer logo Cincinnati Enquirer 7/24/2020 Cameron Knight, Cincinnati Enquirer
a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Nick Sandmann's attorneys (Todd McMurtry, right, and L. Lin Wood) outside the federal courthouse in Covington. © The Enquirer/Max Londberg Nick Sandmann's attorneys (Todd McMurtry, right, and L. Lin Wood) outside the federal courthouse in Covington.

The Washington Post and Nick Sandmann have settled a libel and slander lawsuit stemming from coverage of the Northern Kentucky teen, who became the center of a social media firestorm in 2019.

Sandmann announced the settlement on Twitter on Friday, which also happened to be his 18th birthday.

"Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me," Sandmann wrote. "I still have more to do."

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

The teen and his family sued The Washington Post for $250 million after it reported on a viral video from a trip Sandmann took with his Covington Catholic High School class to Washington D.C. for the Right to Life March on Jan. 18, 2019.

The details of the settlement have not been released publicly. A motion filed in U.S. District Court by Sandmann's lawyers requested the case be dismissed at the request of both sides of the suit.

"We are pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the remaining claims in this lawsuit," said Kristine Coratti Kelly, vice president of communications for The Washington Post, in a statement to The Enquirer.

The clip video showed Sandmann and Nathan Phillips, a Native American who was demonstrating that day, facing each other in a crowd. Sandmann was wearing a red Make America Great Again hat.

Twitter exploded with accusations of racism and privilege. News outlets like the Washington Post, NBC, CNN and The Enquirer all began reporting the story.

Phillips told reporters he was trying to defuse a tense situation – some of the students had just had a loud encounter with a group of Black Hebrew Israelites. 

Sandmann identified himself as the teen featured in the video in a written statement. He said he was also trying to deescalate the situation because he wasn't sure why Phillips had approached him and the other students.

Sandmann and his attorneys argued that the gist of a Washington Post article falsely conveyed that Sandmann had assaulted or physically intimidated Nathan Phillips and engaged in racist conduct.

The suit said the paper's coverage was like a "modern-day form of McCarthyism."

Sandmann's attorneys claimed The Post incorrectly characterized the teen as the aggressor in the situation and exposed him to public ridicule.

The lawsuit was at first dismissed in federal court, but then was allowed to continue on a limited basis examining specific statements that said Sandmann "blocked" Phillips and "would not allow him to retreat." 

In a tweet Friday, Sandmann said: "The fight isn't over. 2 down. 6 to go."

CNN has settled with Sandmann in January. The details of that settlement were private.

There are outstanding lawsuits against NBC, ABC News, CBS News, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Gannett. The Enquirer is owned by Gannett.

Between all the lawsuits, Sandmann sought $1.25 billion in damages. With the CNN and Washington Post lawsuits settled, he is still seeking $725 million.

It is unknown if Sandmann received any money as part of either settlement.

[ The Enquirer is dedicated to local journalism. Please consider a digital subscription to Cincinnati.com. ]

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: The Washington Post, Nick Sandmann settle $250 million lawsuit out of court

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon