Pro-Life Teen Nicholas Sandmann Wins Settlement From Washington Post For Smearing Him

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 24, 2020   |   1:15PM   |   Washington, DC

Covington Catholic High School teen Nicholas Sandman won a second defamation settlement against a major news outlet, he and his lawyers announced Thursday.

The pro-life teen was the target of misleading, biased news coverage during his Kentucky high school’s trip to the March for Life in 2019. On Thursday, Sandmann said his lawyers and the Washington Post reached a settlement agreement, WLWT News 5 reports.

“On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit. Thanks to [attorneys Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry] 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 Friday on Twitter.

In the lawsuit, Sandmann accused the newspaper of “wrongfully targeting and bullying” him “because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the Jan. 18 (2019) March for Life in Washington, D.C.”

The details of the settlement were not released publicly. 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.”

Many news outlets implied Sandmann and other Covington students were racist based on a short video showing a brief confrontation between them and Native American protester Nathan Phillips near the Lincoln Memorial. The negative publicity led to death threats and the temporary closure of his Catholic high school for several days due to security concerns.

Later, however, longer video footage of the incident disproved many of the claims against Sandmann and other students from the school.

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Wood congratulated the teen on the settlement Friday and wished him a happy birthday, noting that their lawsuits against other news outlets are still pending. These include NBC, ABC, CBS, Rolling Stone, Gannett and the New York Times.

“More presents to be delivered to you this next year,” Wood wrote on Twitter. “You deserve justice. We all deserve justice.”

Earlier this year, Sandmann’s lawyers reached a similar settlement with CNN.

The lawsuits came after an independent investigation confirmed that a group of Covington Catholic teens told the truth about their viral confrontation with a Native American man in Washington, D.C. The report by Greater Cincinnati Investigation, Inc. states that the pro-life teens did not initiate the confrontation or use any racial slurs against Native American Nathan Phillips or the Black Hebrew Israelites group.

“We found no evidence of offensive or racist statements by students to Mr. Phillips or members of his group,” the report states. “We found no evidence that the students performed a ‘Build the Wall’ chant.”

Previously, Wood said Phillips told “lies and false accusations” about Sandmann and other students after the Jan. 18, 2019 incident.

Phillips did not participate in the independent investigation. According to Townhall, he lied about the students chanting “Build the wall!” and his Vietnam service.

“We have attempted to reach out to Mr. Phillips by phone and by e-mail, informing him that we desired to interview him in person and that we were prepared to meet him in Michigan or any location he might prefer,” the investigators wrote. “We also sent Mr. Phillips’ daughter an e-mail as they both appear to be involved in the Native Youth Alliance and have shared their e-mail addresses after the event to thank everyone for reaching out and supporting them.”

They said Phillips never responded.

“Mr. Phillip’s public interviews contain some inconsistencies, and we have not been able to resolve them or verify his comments due to our inability to contact him,” the investigators continued.

They said it was the Black Hebrew Israelite group that yelled racial slurs against the boys as well as Native Americans.

In an statement after the initial publicity, Sandmann said he was confused by the whole incident and he smiled only to let the other protesters know that he would not be intimidated.

“I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me – to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence,” he said.