The Wall Street Journal reports that NBC paid $500,000 to settle with Richard Jewell, the Atlanta security guard falsely suspected of planting the bomb at the Olympics last July. NBC had announced last month that it would pay off Jewell to avoid a defamation lawsuit over remarks by news anchor Tom Brokaw that all but identified Jewell as the culprit shortly after the blast. He was cleared in October.

Although Brokaw did say that Jewell was "not even a suspect yet" he also said that FBI agents "probably have enough to arrest him right now, probably enough to prosecute him." Brokaw later said he based his comments on information from high-ranking law-enforcement officials and NBC has never retracted the story nor apologized to Jewell. The network said it made the settlement to protect confidential news sources.

Neither NBC nor Jewell's attorney, Wayne Grant, would confirm the Journal's report on the settlement.

Jewell's attorneys told the Journal that the victory over NBC is just the start of his campaign against the news media, which widely identified him as a suspect. "We're going to sue everyone from A to Z," said attorney L. Lin Wood Jr. "We're going to hit the Atlanta Journal. We did Brokaw. And that's just A and B. I'm sure CNN isn't feeling too comfortable right now."

Wood demanded that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution retract 18 statements about his client, including one that Jewell fit the profile of a lone bomber. The paper says its stories were true, and that, in particular, a statement that Jewell fit a profile was not an allegation of his guilt. The Journal reported that CNN met with the attorneys to discuss a settlement; the news network would not comment.

G. Watson Bryant Jr., Jewell's principal lawyer, also told the Journal that he's hired a Hollywood agent to shop the Richard Jewell story around town. To help the sale, they're cooperating with Vanity Fair on a profile. The magazine's writer thinks the star role ought to go to John Goodman, who, we can safely say without fear of a lawsuit, appears to fit the physical profile of the 34-year-old security guard.

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