Slandered Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann says has settled a $250 million defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post on July 24th, the day he turned 18.
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.
— Nicholas Sandmann (@N1ckSandmann) July 24, 2020
In January 2020, CNN settled with Sandmann in his defamation lawsuit. While $275 million was being sought, it has been tightly covered how much was actually settled.
The defamation case follows the virally covered event where Sandmann and his friends were falsely accused of racist acts towards a Native American man. Sandmann and his classmates were visiting Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life in 2019.
After the march, they stopped by the Lincoln Memorial for sight-seeing and were approached by prominent Native American activist Nathan Phillips, who was beating a drum and chanting a native tune in a foreign language.
Phillips continued with his musical medley as the students smiled and some danced to the music. The whole event was caught on camera. At one point the camera zooms in to see Sandmann staring up close to Phillips face – and that few seconds of coverage change Sandmann’s life forever.
Those few seconds of video footage were isolated to one clip and immediately went viral with commentary suggesting that Sandmann was trying to intimidate or mock Phillips. Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, and other major networks all fell for the footage without giving due diligence to the bigger picture.
In the days immediately following, footage started surfacing telling the whole story and revealed that Sandmann was simply staying still as Phillips approached Sandmann up close.
Phillips, knowing the whole story, took the opportunity to play the victim as if he was being bullied, even when the videos exposing the truth came out.