Following the lead of CNN, the Washington Post settled a defamation lawsuit filed by Kentucky teenager Nicholas Sandmann over the newspaper’s coverage of a confrontation he and other students had at the March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.
Sandmann, who at the time was a junior at Covington Catholic High School in Covington, Kentucky, was portrayed in a viral video of mocking or trying to intimidate Native American Warren Phillips, who was attending an Indigenous Peoples March. But it was Phillips who approached Sandmann and not the other way around, as the media reports led people to believe.
The terms of the settlement were undisclosed, but the paper did release a statement, which stated that they were pleased to have reached an agreement.
“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, a spokeswoman for The Post.
Speculation has arisen about the amount of the settlement — Sandmann sued for $250 million, but it is likely that it was for a small fraction of that amount and that it was better for the Post to settle than continue with a protracted and expensive legal battle.
Sandmann was pleased to have scored what he saw as a victory over the Post.
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
CNN settled with the family earlier this year, and there are suits pending against other media outlets.