- The Washington Times - Friday, December 17, 2021

Former Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann said Friday that he has reached a settlement in his defamation lawsuit against NBCUniversal.

“At this time I would like to release that NBC and I have reached a settlement. The terms are confidential,” tweeted Mr. Sandmann.

In May 2019, he sued NBCUniversal for $275 million, alleging that the media company “unleashed its vast corporate wealth, influence, and power against Nicholas to falsely attack him despite the fact that at the time, he was a 16-year-old high school student.”



The lawsuit was one of many filed by Mr. Sandmann against media outlets over their depiction of him as the aggressor in a January 2019 viral encounter with a Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial.

Mr. Sandmann reached settlements in 2020 on undisclosed terms with CNN and The Washington Post.

“Documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky show both parties agreed to dismiss the case without a judgment from the court,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Mr. Sandmann and dozens of his classmates at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky were waiting for buses home after attending the 2019 March for Life when they were approached by Nathan Phillips.

Mr. Phillips, who had participated the same day in the Indigenous Peoples March, sang and beat a ceremonial drum as he stopped in front of Mr. Sandmann, one of several Covington students wearing red Make America Great Again ballcaps.

The lawsuit alleged that the teen was “an easy target for NBCUniversal to advance its anti-Trump agenda because he was a 16-year-old white, Catholic student who had attended the Right to Life March that day and was wearing a MAGA cap at the time of the incident which he had purchased earlier in the day as a souvenir.”

NBCUniversal outlets ran headlines about the incident that included, “Nathan Phillips, Native American man harassed by high schoolers, tells his story,” and “Video of teens taunting man at Indigenous Peoples March sparks outrage,” according to the lawsuit.

In the complaint, attorneys for Mr. Sandmann alleged that “NBCUniversal created a false narrative by portraying the ‘confrontation’ as a ‘hate crime’ committed by Nicholas.”

The Washington Times has reached out to NBCUniversal for comment.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide