CNN hit with $275 million defamation suit by Kentucky student

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 13, 2019 - Duration: 01:29s

CNN hit with $275 million defamation suit by Kentucky student

A Kentucky teenager sued CNN on Tuesday for defamation, saying the cable network falsely conveyed to viewers that he was the “face of an unruly hate mob” confronting a Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in January.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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CNN hit with $275 million defamation suit by Kentucky student

The Catholic high school student seen in this now-infamous viral video standing face-to-face with a Native American activist in Washington is suing CNN for defamation.

The complaint filed Tuesday seeks $275 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

It accuses CNN of airing four “defamatory” broadcasts and nine online articles falsely accusing 16-year-old Nicholas Sandmann and his classmates of “engaging in racist conduct.” A CNN spokeswoman said the network declined to comment.

The video captured a chaotic moment in a larger encounter in the U.S. capital in January.

Sandmann and dozens of other students from a Catholic school in Kentucky were on a school trip to participate in a national anti-abortion rally.

Many of them were wearing Donald Trump's 'Make America Great Again' caps.

They were confronted by a small group of black religious activists, and in response the students began chanting school cheers.

Native American activist Nathan Phillips waded into the confrontation, singing and beating a drum.

Sandmann did not move, and stood smiling at Phillips.

That smile earned him the hatred of many on the Internet, some who threatened him with violence.

Last month, Sandmann sued the Washington Post for $250 million over its reporting of the same incident.

President Donald Trump has long pilloried CNN and the Washington Post for their coverage of his administration.

He tweeted his support for Sandmann last month, writing, "Go get them Nick.

Fake News!"

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