A Kentucky man who filed several lawsuits against CNN, The New York Times, and other media outlets said that Kyle Rittenhouse should sue legacy news outlets for defamation after his acquittal last week.
Nicholas Sandmann, who was also labeled a racist and a white supremacist when he was confronted by a Native American activist during a viral video incident in 2019, told Fox News hours after the acquittal that Rittenhouse has a case.
“I think he should sue the media, but it’s really a personal call that’s up to him,” Sandmann told Fox News on Nov. 19. “In January, it will be three years since everything happened at the March for Life [rally], and I’m still looking at another two years until the cases that go to trial are resolved, so it’s really a personal call.”
Sandmann, who was 16 when he was targeted in a media firestorm, was able to settle defamation lawsuits with CNN and The Washington Post. He has six more in the works.
“To deal with this overload of stress where you feel like half of the country, hundreds of millions of people, hate you for something you were innocent of … can do a lot to you mentally,” Sandmann told Fox News. “It takes a very strong will to be able to resist that and keep a level head, and I know that Kyle is probably dealing with that right now.”
Since the incident during the Kenosha riots, a number of legacy media outlets, organizations, celebrities, and even presidential candidate Joe Biden during the 2020 election put out material suggesting Rittenhouse was a white supremacist, though there’s been no evidence so far that suggests Rittenhouse holds white supremacist viewpoints.
A spokesman for the Rittenhouse family, David Hancock, has not indicated whether Rittenhouse will file a lawsuit. The Epoch Times has contacted him for comment.
Ahead of the verdict last week, Hancock revealed the teen was “never a super political kid” and “never really jumped on the politics train, but the politics train sure as hell jumped on [him].”
Rittenhouse, he continued, has “seen his image get pushed around and called these horrific names that are not based on anything, so he gets the political aspect of it now… he’s well attuned to what’s been happening over the past year.”
Hancock said that “it bothers him deeply, because being called a white supremacist is deeply antithetical to who he is.”
“He was never part of a militia, he didn’t answer a ‘call to arms,’ [he] never visited a page, he didn’t even know what the term meant,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy, asserted in a recent interview that Biden’s comment last year, which she described as defamatory, was done “for the votes.”
The comments stemmed from a video that Biden posted on Twitter in September of last year, including an image with Rittenhouse carrying his M&P 15 rifle.
“There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night,” the caption read, targeting then-President Donald Trump.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment after Wendy Rittenhouse’s interview.