Former Covington Catholic High student Nicolas Sandmann, who was smeared by big media after a 2019 incident involving a Native American activist, has reached a third settlement with outlets in a series of libel lawsuits.
Sandmann took to Twitter on Friday to announce that he has reached a settlement with NBC News.
His legal team has already reached settlement agreements with the Washington Post and CNN.
“At this time I would like to release that NBC and I have reached a settlement. The terms are confidential,” Sandmann said.
At this time I would like to release that NBC and I have reached a settlement. The terms are confidential.
— Nicholas Sandmann (@N1ckSandmann) December 17, 2021
The Daily Wire notes:
Sandmann’s face went viral after he and a group of his peers at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky were filmed in a “standoff” with Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, in January 2019 in Washington, D.C. Phillips had approached the group of teens while beating a drum and stopped in front of Sandmann.
Immediately following clips of the two circulating around social media, Sandmann was accused of blocking and harassing the older Native American man. Follow-up investigations debunked the initial outcry that had rocketed around the media.
In September 2019, a federal judge ruled that a libel lawsuit filed against NBCUniversal by a student of a Catholic high school in Kentucky can proceed on a limited basis.
U.S. District Court Judge William Bertelsman dismissed parts of a $275 million lawsuit filed by Nicholas Sandmann while allowing discovery on allegations that the network’s coverage defamed the teen by reporting that he “blocked” Native American activist Nathan Phillips in a Jan. 18 encounter at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“[T]he court finds that the statements that plaintiff ‘blocked’ Phillips or did not allow him to retreat, if false, meet the test of being libelous per se under the definition quoted above,” said Bertelsman in his order.
“As predicted, today Judge Bertelsman entered an order allowing the Nicholas Sandmann case against NBCUniversal to proceed to discovery just as he had earlier ruled with respect to WaPo & CNN cases. Huge, huge win!” tweeted then-Sandmann attorney L. Lin Wood.
Under Kentucky law, a communication is considered defamatory if it causes someone to be brought into “public hatred, contempt or ridicule,” or leads to the person being “shunned or avoided,” according to the ruling.
CNN agreed to settle a $275 million suit in January 2020.
Attorneys for Sandmann accused the network of “bullying” their client, who was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, associated with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, in order to push a political agenda.