Infowars founder Alex Jones spoke at a lawsuit today that will determine what he owes to the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting. Jones was found guilty last year in a series of defamation cases brought by the parents of Sandy Hook’s victims.
For years Jones and Infowars spread outlandish and disturbing conspiracy theories that the 2012 tragedy that claimed the lives of 28 people, mostly children, was staged.
The first lawsuit to determine what damages Jones may owe is taking place in Texas, and Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, parents of 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis, are seeking at least $150 million. Late last month, parent company Infowars filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcyprobably a pre-emptive attempt to avoid financial guilt before the outcome of the trial.
On Wednesday, in an unexpected turn of events, a lawyer representing the parents of victim Sandy Hook revealed that he had recently obtained a plethora of Jones’ phone data that appeared to have been mistakenly given to the opposing legal team.
Jones lost four separate defamation cases involving Sandy Hook by default after refusing to cooperate with Texas and Connecticut courts and provide requested documents. Jones also failed to provide any messages related to Sandy Hook during the damages investigation, a discrepancy that was brought to the attention of family lawyer Mark Bankston on Wednesday.
“You know what perjury is, don’t you?” Bankston asked.
The plaintiff’s attorney also cited emails that said Infowars was making $800,000 a day, a staggering figure that Jones did not contest despite his previous conflicting statements about the company’s earnings. Jones argued that any penalty in excess of $2 million would “drown” his company.
Whether or not any damages awarded will ruin his business, the lawsuit could prove to be a cautionary tale to the myriad conspiracy-peddling companies that, like Infowars, profit from dangerous and politically divisive disinformation.
Shortly after the revelation, Rolling Stone reported that the January 6 committee plans to request these messages and emails in his ongoing investigation into the Capitol uprising.
Jones is in court after infamously claiming that the Sandy Hook shooting was a fake event staged by “crisis actors” to promote a covert ideological agenda. False claims have spread like wildfire online in conspiracy echo chambers over the past decade, inspiring believers to harass and harass the parents of Sandy Hook victims, some of whom have even moved or went underground to avoid abuse.
Heslin described the situation as “Sheer Hell” in the testimony this week. “What has been said about me and Sandy Hook herself resonates all over the world,” he said. “Over time, I really realized how dangerous it was … My life was in danger. I fear for my life, I fear for my safety.”
Alex Jones has been cashing in on the Infowars conspiracy empire for years, promoting repeated allegations of government cover-ups and false flag operations while promoting branded products such as nootropic supplements promising to boost “male vitality.” By bending or even breaking the rules, Jones managed to stay active on mainstream social media just a few years ago.
At the end of 2018, major technology companies including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Apple kicked Jones off their platforms, citing his long track record of misbehavior, misinformation and harassment. Apple spearheaded effortsremoving Infowars from the App Store after Jones’ media empire violated its rules against hate speech.
Credit: techcrunch.com /