Washington Post Settles Lawsuit With Student in Viral Protest Video


The Washington Post settled a defamation lawsuit filed by the parents of a Kentucky teenager over the paper’s coverage of his encounter with a Native American protester in Washington last year, an event that set off a national debate.

The newspaper said on Friday that it had reached the settlement, but did not disclose the terms. “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.

The parents of Nicholas Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School in Covington, Ky., had sued the paper for $250 million, claiming that The Post had “targeted and bullied” him in its coverage of the incident. The amount reflected the sum that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, had paid to buy The Post in 2013.

Attorneys for the Sandmann family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The encounter between Mr. Sandmann, 16 at the time, and a Native American elder, Nathan Phillips, was captured on a widely shared video. It showed the student among his mostly white classmates, many of them wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, at the Lincoln Memorial.

The students were in Washington to attend an anti-abortion rally when they ended up near Mr. Phillips and others from an Indigenous Peoples March. Mr. Phillips could be seen surrounded by a group of chanting students; at one point he and Mr. Sandmann were face to face.

As the video was shared online, they quickly became avatars of a politically divided populace. When the Sandmanns sued The Post last year, President Trump cheered on the effort, tweeting: “Go get them Nick. Fake News!”

A federal judge initially dismissed the lawsuit, but reversed the decision after the Sandmann family amended the complaint.

The Sandmanns settled a separate suit with CNN this year, with neither the family nor the cable network providing any details. The family has active cases against several other media outlets, including The New York Times.





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