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Covington boys sue Kathy Griffin for harassment over March for Life doxing demand

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September 19, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Attorneys representing six Covington Catholic High School families filed a lawsuit Monday against television personality Kathy Griffin, arguing that her public demand for the identities of the teens in a contentious video from January’s March for Life harassed and endangered the students.

Immediately after the pro-life event in Washington, D.C., the press erupted with claims that a video showed boys from the Kentucky school harassing Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, outside the Lincoln Memorial. But additional extended video and firsthand accounts soon revealed that Phillips was the one who waded into the group waiting for its bus and decided to beat a drum inches from student Nick Sandmann’s face while members of the fringe group Black Hebrew Israelites shouted racial taunts at the kids.

The kids had been performing school cheers in an attempt to drown out the harassment but did not respond to adults’ insults and abuse in kind, nor did they chant “build the wall,” as had been widely claimed.

As additional video came to light, many journalists and public figures quickly deleted their snap condemnations of the students. Others either tried to keep the original narrative alive or refused to unequivocally retract or apologize for their initial claims, leading attorneys representing the students to threaten numerous defamation suits.

Among those public figures was Griffin, who in a January 20 tweet that remains up as of September 19, demanded, “Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these f***ers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again.” She also called for “stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity.” (Griffin also tweeted then deleted a false claim that an “OK” hand gesture at a Covington basketball game was actually a Nazi hand sign.)

She also told one respondent concerned about mistaken identity to “calm down” because “human beings and the Internet have a way of working these things out,” and no minors had yet been “wrongly identified to the point of being in danger. In fact, at least two students, Jay Jackson and Michael Hodge, were publicly misidentified as being in the video when in fact they didn’t attend the March at all, requiring the latter to temporarily be escorted to school by police.

On Monday, attorneys representing several of the students and their families filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Kentucky seeks damages from the comedian for privacy invasion, menacing, threatening, and civil harassment.

Griffin “acted in a hateful, concerted, and targeted doxing campaign conducted in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to harass, humiliate, and threaten the Plaintiffs; to intrude upon and violate their privacy, and to substantially assist, encourage, and act in concert with others to engage in such harmful conduct,” the lawsuit alleged.

Her doxing calls “served no legitimate purpose” but to impose on the students a “reasonable apprehension” of retaliation, resulting in “death threats in the sanctity of their homes and school (CCH), and being subject to and incurring intimidation, harassment, annoyance, and alarm, including such injury to them in their future academic, business, career, and employment opportunities.”

The families seek a jury trial that they hope will find Griffin liable for “compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial,” plus attorney fees and trial expenses.

Attorneys representing Nick Sandmann have filed defamation suits against CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and The Washington Post. Attorneys representing other Covington students are suing various left-wing figures for their false claims, including Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, CNN’s Ana Navarro, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, ABC News’ Matthew Dowd, ex-CNN personality Reza Aslan, Kentucky entrepreneur Adam Edelen, Princeton University’s Kevin Kruse, left-wing activist Shaun King, Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery, and Rewire editor-in-chief Jodi Jacobson.

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