Washington Post Settles Lawsuit With Covington Catholic Student Nicholas Sandmann

Nicholas Sandmann and Nathan Phillips / YouTube screenshot
July 24, 2020

The Washington Post settled a defamation lawsuit Friday with former Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann, who filed a suit last year over the paper's inaccurate coverage of his confrontation with Native American activists.

"On 2/19/19, I filed [a] $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post," Sandmann tweeted. "Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit. Thanks to [my lawyers] for their advocacy. Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground supporting me. I still have more to do."

Then-16-year-old Sandmann attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., in January 2019 and was confronted, along with other students, by a group of Native American activists led by Nathan Phillips. Media coverage at the time portrayed Sandmann and the students as aggressors, but a longer video of the incident later revealed that Phillips had approached the Covington students.

The lawsuit alleged that the Washington Post portrayed Sandmann as engaging in "racist misconduct" and attacked him "because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red 'Make America Great Again' souvenir cap." Though the original lawsuit asked for $250 million—the amount Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos paid to buy the newspaper in 2013—Sandmann's lawyers did not disclose how much the media outlet settled for.

In January, CNN became the first media outlet to settle with Sandmann, who has also filed suits against ABC, CBS, and the New York Times, among others.

Sandmann was a 2019 recipient of the Washington Free Beacon's Man of the Year award.

Published under: The Washington Post