CNN has agreed to settle a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann earlier this month. A CNN spokesperson has confirmed that a settlement was reached but the news outlet has declined to offer further details.
In March of last year, Sandmann filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN seeking more than $275 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The lawsuit alleged that the cable news networked engaged in a “vicious attack” against Sandmann in its coverage of him following his encounter with 64-year-old Native American Nathan Phillips in January of that year.
According to the complaint, which was filed in federal court in Kentucky, “CNN falsely asserted” that Sandmann and his classmates were in a “racis[t]” “mob mentality” and “looked like they were going to lynch” a nearby group of Black Hebrew Israelites “because they didn’t like the color of their skin” or “their religious views.” The suit goes on to allege that CNN further reported that Sandmann and his classmates “surrounded” Phillips and “harassed and taunted” him, creating “a really dangerous situation” during which Sandmann “blocked [Phillips’] escape” and caused Phillips to “fear for his safety and the safety of those with him.” Continue reading ›