Covington's Nicholas Sandmann Settles Lawsuit Against NBC-Universal n this screenshot from the RNC’s livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, former Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann addresses the virtual convention on August 25, 2020. (The Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 18 December 2021 12:21 PM
Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student captured in a viral video encounter with a Native-American during a visit to Washington, D.C., in 2019, and falsely depicted as a white supremacist by several mainstream media outlets, has settled his lawsuit against NBC-Universal for an undisclosed amount, Sandmann posted on Twitter Friday.
"At this time, I would like to release that NBC and I have reached a settlement," Sandmann’s post on Twitter said. "The terms are confidential."
It is the third settlement for the former high school student since the incident at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Sandmann was one of several students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky to attend the march, which coincided with an "Indigenous People’s March" being held at the same time.
When Sandmann was approached by Native-American protestor and tribal elder, Nathan Phillips, playing a drum, Sandmann stood silently.
A short video of the encounter went viral showing what initial reports claimed was Sandmann, then 16, blocking Phillips and mistreating him.
Later, longer videos, however, showed Phillips as the one initiating the encounter, and Sandmann doing nothing to provoke, or block him.
Mainstream media outlets seized on the first, shorter video, as capturing a racist encounter meant to offend Phillips, using it to lead the news cycle for days.
Sandmann eventually sued NBC, CNN, the Washington Post, CBS, USA Today owner Gannett, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone for defamation and several hundred million dollars each in damages.
"All of the future defendants listed above have published or republished statements made by Nathan Phillips and others that Nicholas blocked or otherwise restricted Phillips’ free movement and would not allow Phillips to retreat at the National Mall on January 18, 2019. Nicholas reserves his right to file complaints in this is Court or any other court against any other potential defendant not listed above, subject to the applicable statute of limitations," reads a report Sandmann’s lawyers filed with U.S. District Court in Covington back in February 2020, when they said they intended to file complaints against the five additional media outlets, Kentucky television station WTVQ reported.
CNN settled its $275 million suit with Sandmann for an undisclosed amount in January 2020, the network reported at the time.
The Washington Post then settled with Sandmann in July 2020, in another confidential agreement.
"We are pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the remaining claims in this lawsuit," Kris Coratti, a spokesperson for The Post, said in a short statement to CNN at the time.
In a social media post following the settlement with the Post, Sandmann thanked the "millions" of people that supported him.
"On 2/19/19, I filed a $250M defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit…Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me. I still have more to do," Sandmann tweeted at the time.