Over the last few weeks, multiple celebrities have come out and released a fury of comments aimed at or surrounding the Covington Catholic High School students after they were approached by Native American activist Nathan Phillips, who proceeded to beat his drum in the face of one of the students.
Following the encounter between Phillips and the students, an edited video made the rounds in the media, where many claimed Phillips was the victim of harassment. However, when videos revealing more of the timeline and context began to surface, it was apparent the students were not the ones harassing.
Following more evidence of the encounter being revealed and a growing backlash to the celebrities and media, it didn’t take long for many celebrities like Disney’s Beauty and The Beast producer Jack Morrissey to apologize for their threats against the students
However, lawyer Robert Barnes, who represented Wesley Snipes in his case against the IRS, has taken up the case of the Covington Catholic High School students. He told LifeSiteNews that he is representing around a dozen families of Covington Catholic students. He recently detailed a list of individuals he plans on taking to court to sue for libel.
While speaking with Fox News, Barnes noted that he threatened a number of celebrity and media personalities with law suits and those threats did result in a number of people retracting their statements. Barnes details that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, CNN’s Kathy Griffin, and The View’s Meghan McCain all retracted statements.
A number of celebrities and media personalities have not retracted their statements and Barnes indicates they will be sued. He specifically said Reza Aslan would be sued. He also mentions ABC commentator Matthew Dowd and Netflix’s Atypical star Michael Rapaport. Celebrities and media personality aren’t the only ones. Barnes also indicates he will sue the New York Daily News.
Barnes is confident he will win his law suits, “Yes because in this case there is a unique exception. When there is a defamation and libel of private citizens particularly minors then the legal standard goes way down. You no longer have to prove actual malice or malevolent intent. All you have to prove is a false statement was made. In Kentucky the law is even broader, an unflattering impression given and put a person’s reputation in a false light and otherwise it just be negligent for them to do so. That’s why the whole family gave everybody 48 hours to correct all of these statements. If they still refuse to do so it’s clearly negligent to keep false statements up.”
In a statement to PJMedia, Robert Barnes stated, “anyone who doesn’t correct and retract” would be facing a lawsuit. He went on to state that if people who didn’t fully retract, but merely updated their statement to claim “a more complex picture has emerged” would still possibly be sued.
Do you think Barnes will follow through with his threat to sue these celebrities and media personalities? Do you think he has a solid case?