NEW YORK (AP) – NBC paid more than $500,000 to Richard Jewell to avert a lawsuit over comments Tom Brokaw made about the one-time Olympic bombing suspect, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The settlement was announced Dec. 9, but the amount was not disclosed at the time. NBC issued a statement saying it agreed to the settlement to protect confidential sources. It offered no apology or retraction.
The Journal, quoting unidentified sources, said Jewell settled for more than $500,000.
NBC spokeswoman Beth Comstock refused to confirm the amount. Jewell’s attorney, Wayne Grant, said: “We did not disclose the terms of the settlement to the Wall Street Journal, and I can’t comment on its report.”
Jewell, a 34-year-old security guard, found the knapsack that contained the pipe bomb just before the July 27 blast. He was the only named suspect before he was cleared by the government in October.
Jewell’s attorneys contended that Brokaw last summer insinuated Jewell committed the bombing.
“The speculation is that the FBI is close to making the case,” Brokaw told sports commentator Bob Costas. “They probably have enough to arrest him right now, probably enough to prosecute him, but you always want to have enough to convict him as well. There are still some holes in this case.”
Jewell’s attorneys have asked the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the first newspaper to identify Jewell as a suspect, to retract the story. The newspaper has stood by its coverage.