On Friday, July 24, Nick Sandmann posted a tweet announcing that he had settled his defamation suit against The Washington Post for $250 million, Fox News reported.
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
The defamation lawsuit filed by Nick Sandmann was concerned with the Jan. 18, 2019, episode at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. where a Native American, identified as Nathan Philips, is seen confronting Sandmann and surrounded by his schoolmates.
Initially, CNN, The Washington Post, CBS, ABC, and other major media outlets, published a video of approximately 4 minutes, where you see Nick wearing a MAGA hat smiling at Philips who plays a kind of drum in front of his face, singing along with some accompanists. The media portrayed Nick and his schoolmates and the incident itself in a way that generated a lot of hatred in the public, saying that Sandmann was the aggressor of a Vietnam vet and Native American.
To finish the mischaracterization of the incident, Philips in a TV interview, in describing the encounter said that he felt threatened by the young people.
Overnight, Twitter was filled with death threats against Sandmann and his classmates, calling them white supremacists, Nazis, the media even went to the youth’s school generating more pressure on them and condemnation from their own authorities, some people published the addresses of some of their homes, some celebrities asked they be kicked out of school and to be beaten up.
However, a few hours later, a complete video appeared, about two hours long, and the situation was completely different from what the media had tried to frame.
In the full video, you can see that the young people coming from the March for Life were waiting at the Lincoln Memorial for their bus. A group of Black supremacists, called the “Black Hebrew Israelites,” began to insult the group of students, and at that point, Philips, who was there participating in the Native Peoples March, walked over to the group of young people banging a drum until he came to confront Sandmann.
In that video, you can see that there is no incitement to violence, no threats, no racist chanting; Sandmann just stood his ground without saying anything. It was all over when their bus arrived, and they left.
It was also confirmed that Philips is not a war vet, as the media said, perhaps to incite patriotism in people.
The libel suit against The Washington Post was closed by the judge in July 2019 at the request of the newspaper’s lawyers. However, in October 2019, the same judge reopened the case after Sandmann’s lawyers presented new evidence.
On Jan. 8, 2020, Fox News announced that CNN had arranged to pay Sandmann a million-dollar defamation settlement.
The student’s legal representatives announced that they would continue the lawsuit against other media outlets, including ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NPR, Slate, The Hill, to name a few.