Celebrities May Be Sued for Defamation After They Aimed Hate at the Covington Kids
Bill Maher, Alyssa Milano, Jim Carrey and others are likely to receive warning letters ahead of possible legal action
Lawyers representing Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann are taking the words and actions of various celebrities, media organizations and politicians very seriously.
Sandmann received copious amounts of negative media attention when a video clip of him and Native-American Nathan Phillips — who was chanting and beating a drum and had walked toward the teenager and his peers near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., right after the March for Life rally — went viral.
There was far more to the story than many people initially believed — and far more than many initial press reports indicated.
There were holes in Phillips’ story, too (including his claim that he been a Vietnam veteran).
Sandmann had been standing with other teens from his high school near the memorial and did nothing wrong. He simply stood and smiled at Phillips as the man got right up in his face. The restraint the teen showed, in fact, was pretty extraordinary, given events.
But negative reactions to the incorrect original story resulted in death threats for Sandmann and bomb threats against Covington Catholic High School.
As a result, one of Sandmann’s attorneys, Todd McMurtry, said warning letters will be sent in the coming days to prominent figures and outlets in preparation for a far-reaching defamation lawsuit.
This includes such news organizations as CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post, and celebrities such as Jim Carrey (pictured above right), Alyssa Milano (above middle) and Bill Maher (above left) — as well as politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and others.
Some members of the mainstream media accused Sandmann and other students from the school of racism. This, despite the fact that the elder Phillips approached the teens after members of the Black Hebrew Israelites called the students “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “incest kids” and other awful terms.
After the hate aimed at the students, CNN employee Bakari Sellers said Sandmann should have been punched in the face.
And Bill Maher called Sandmann a “little pr***” days after the original video had been disproven.
Maher also went on to make a rape joke about the Catholic Church.
Attorney McMurtry said that he and the rest of the legal team “have a good-faith basis to sue” some of the people and organizations on their list.
McMurtry told The Cincinnati Enquirer he is “very confident that we are going to prevail” and “attain justice.”
McMurtry is hoping for apologies and retractions, at a minimum, and said further litigation may occur in the future.
“We want to change the conversation,” he said.
“We don’t want this to happen again. We want to teach people a lesson. There was a rush by the media to believe what it wanted to believe versus what actually happened,” he added.
Check out more in the video below:
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.