A lawyer for Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student made famous by a viral video filmed near the Lincoln Memorial last month, said Thursday he is considering suing HBO host and comedian Bill Maher for defamation.
“Well, certainly CNN and Bill Maher did things that we consider to have crossed the line. We think the statements they made are defamatory. They’re not humorous,” Lin Wood told Fox News, The Hill first reported. “So certainly Bill Maher is somebody that we’re looking at very carefully, and HBO, for allowing him to make those defamatory statements.”
“We have not decided who we will sue next. However, we are discussing that, and these lawsuits will continue to roll out over the next 30 to 60 days,” Mr. Wood added, the report said.
A spokesperson for HBO did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Lawyers for Nicholas, 16, sued The Washington Post for $250 million earlier this week over the newspaper’s reporting on last month’s incident on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., when he was filmed along with several other classmates encountering Nathan Phillips, a 64-year-old Native American activist.
Nicholas, a junior attending the Park Hills, Kentucky, school, made waves after video footage circulated online of the incident showing him clad in a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap, smiling inches from Mr. Phillips while the activist banged a drum near the Lincoln Memorial on the afternoon Jan. 18.
Supporters of the student have insisted he was smeared by the media afterward, and his lawyers sued The Post on Tuesday over reporting it deemed “false and defamatory.”
Mr. Maher discussed the incident during an episode of his HBO program the following week during a monologue that mocked the student at the center of the dispute.
“I don’t blame the kid, the smirk-face kid. I blame lead poisoning and bad parenting. And, oh yeah, I blame that [expletive] kid. What a little [expletive],” he said on “Real Time with Bill Maher” last month.
“This smirking kid says he was just trying to defuse the situation. Really? Next time you get into a fight with your wife or your husband or your boyfriend or your girlfriend, try that. Try getting two inches from their face with a [expletive]-eating grin … and see if it defuses the situation,” Mr. Maher said during the episode.
The Post plans to “mount a vigorous defense,” a spokesperson for the newspaper said earlier this week.
President Trump encouraged the lawsuit, meanwhile, tweeting on Wednesday: “Go get them Nick. Fake News!”
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