Nick Sandmann, the Kentucky high-school student at the center of a viral confrontation with a Native American elder in front of the Lincoln Memorial last month, has filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post. According to a press release from the law firm Hemmer, DeFrank, and Wessels, the suit alleges the Post “ignored basic journalist standards” and waged “malicious attacks” on Sandmann by “falsely accusing him” of instigating the tense standoff with Phillips. The lawsuit claims the Post's coverage “caused permanent damage to [Sandmann’s] life and reputation” because the paper “wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump” by targeting Trump supporters. The suit further claims the newspaper published “false and defamatory accusations,” proving itself to be a “loud and aggressive bully with a bully pulpit.” Sandmann and his attorneys seek $50 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages to “teach the Post a lesson it will never forget.” The suit also notes that $250 million is the same amount Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the newspaper for in 2013.
Two of the lawyers on the suit confirmed to The Daily Beast that they intend to sue more media outlets on behalf of Sandmann and his family. “We are currently evaluating claims against a number of other defendants,” lawyer Todd McMurtry wrote. “I cannot identify any of those potential targets at this time.” Kristine Kelly, VP of communications at the Post, said the newspaper was “reviewing a copy of the lawsuit and [they] plan to mount a vigorous defense.”