DALLAS (CN) – Conservative commentator Glenn Beck and his TheBlaze network have settled defamation claims brought by the family of “clock boy” Ahmed Mohamed, the black Muslim teenager arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that a teacher thought looked like a bomb.
On Tuesday, the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas granted an unopposed motion to partially dismiss an appeal filed by Mohamed’s father due to the settlement. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
TheBlaze and Beck did not immediately respond to an email message requesting comment Thursday afternoon.
Mohamed made headlines in 2015 when he was arrested at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, after he brought a homemade clock to school to show a teacher. The clock consisted of a circuit board and power supply that he wired to a digital display inside of a metal pencil case. Another teacher allegedly thought it looked like a bomb, resulting in Mohamed being questioned and detained by school officials and police.
An image of a bewildered Mohamed wearing a NASA T-shirt being led away from the school in handcuffs went viral. Mohamed claimed he was threatened with expulsion if he did not make a written statement.
Mohamed’s father sued Beck, TheBlaze, Fox Television Stations LLC, political commentator Ben Ferguson, Ben Shapiro, former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne, the Center for Security Policy and its executive vice president Jim Hanson in September 2016 in Dallas County District Court about the statements they made in the media coverage after his arrest.
“It was a staged event where someone convinced this kid to bring a device that he didn’t build, as you mentioned,” Hanson told Beck during a Sept. 22, 2015, broadcast on TheBlaze, according to the complaint. “It’s a RadioShack clock that he put in a briefcase, and in a briefcase it looks like a bomb … They did that to create the exact scenario that played out. They wanted people to react, and they wanted to portray this kid as an innocent victim. I think he was a pawn of potentially his father.”
The lawsuit claims that Van Duyne said several times that Mohamed was not forthcoming with the school or police, and that he brought a “hoax bomb” to school, citing an interview broadcast on Fox affiliate KDFW, in which she allegedly said the family was “non-responsive” to a city request to release records about the incident.
Beck allegedly said to Van Duyne during the broadcast on TheBlaze, “My theory is that for some reason Irving is important to the Islamists, not the Muslims, but the Islamists. It could be as simple as the progressives trying to turn Texas blue, and this is just the place where they’re just going to start planting the seeds and taking a stand. You pissed them off, and now this is a dog whistle. This is not a story that is for anybody to hear, except for the Islamists because once you create a boogeyman, now all the money, all the resources, all the intellectual power, all is focused on your little town of Irving, Texas.”
The trial court dismissed the claims against Beck, TheBlaze, CSP and Hanson in January under the Teas Citizens’ Participation Act, the state’s Anti-SLAPP law. SLAPP is short for Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation.
The settlement frees Beck and TheBlaze from Mohamed’s appeal of the January ruling.
Mohamed’s other lawsuit against the Irving Independent School District was dismissed in Dallas federal court in May. The judge concluded he failed to state a valid claim of racial discrimination.