If you thought 2020 was shaping up to be one hell of a year (in the literal sense), here’s another case to add to the file: Nick Sandmann, the Covington, Ky., prep school student perceived to be mocking a Native American at the Lincoln Memorial last year, just got paid.
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CNN settled with Sandmann’s family for an undisclosed amount, the network confirmed on Tuesday. WXIX-TV, which first broke the story, reported that a settlement figure was not made public at the Covington court hearing. His family was seeking $275 million in damages from CNN because of the “emotional distress Nicholas and his family suffered.” The Sandmann family, who hired two high-profile firms in the wake of the controversy involving the Covington Catholic students and indigenous activist Nathan Phillips, claimed they had to move their home temporarily because of all the press, and that Sandmann wasn’t allowed to go on a school trip after the incident.
Missing out on literally one privilege. The poor, oppressed thing!
Sandmann shared the news with a simple tweet and was flooded with messages of support (which he obligingly retweeted, this poor child who never asked for the limelight!).
The family has more litigation pending with the Washington Post and NBC Universal, which were among the many, many outlets (including this publication) that covered the divisive incident. Many looked at the Covington kids’ conduct at the Lincoln Memorial as distasteful and offensive: In videos of the confrontation, the boys, many of whom were wearing MAGA hats, appeared to be mocking Phillips, an indigenous elder who began chanting at the boys in what he says was an attempt to calm them down (earlier, they had gotten into a shouting match with Black Hebrew Israelites).
Sandmann became the face of the confrontation, eventually giving an interview to The Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie to try to
spin this whole thing away tell his side of the story.
In total, the Sandmanns have asked for more than $800 million from NBC Universal, the Post, and CNN. Their family lawyer says they also plan to sue Phillips for an additional $5 million, WXIX-TV reports, but a judge cautioned that Phillips did not have as much money as the other defendants.