A lawsuit targeting a dozen celebrities and public figures was filed Friday on behalf of eight unnamed Covington Catholic High School students, seeking damages for alleged defamatory comments made in the wake of a viral video incident.
In the widely broadcast video, the students were seen laughing and smirking as Native American activist Nathan Phillips waded into their midst, banging a drum and chanting. The video, which seemed to show Phillips under attack by the student group, drew instant condemnation on social media as an example of so-called white privilege. At least until it was revealed that Phillips instigated the confrontation with the teens, who were merely waiting for a bus, and were themselves being racially abused by a nearby black activist group.
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The lawsuit was filed in Kentucky and names 12 individuals, including Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren; actress Kathy Griffin; journalists Maggie Haberman, Ana Navarro and Shaun King; Rep. Debra Haaland from New Mexico,and Adam Edelen, a former state auditor of Kentucky; Political analyst Matthew Dowd; author Reza Aslan; and Princeton history professor Kevin Kruse.
The suit seeks millions in damages and comes a week after a similar lawsuit brought by Covington student Nicholas Sandmann against the Washington Post was dismissed by a federal judge.
This lawsuit seeks at least $15,000 and at most $50,000 for each student from each of the 12 defendants. That makes for a total of at least $1.44 million and at most $4.8 million. Sandmann is not a plaintiff in the suit.