Aug 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Alex Jones ordered to pay $4 million to Sandy Hook parents

Photo of Alex Jones wiping his face with his right hand
Alex Jones in 2018. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

A jury in Texas has ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million in damages to the parents of a 6-year-old boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, AP reports.

Driving the news: It's the first time Jones has been held financially liable for falsely calling the mass shooting, which killed 20 children and six educators, a hoax.

  • Jones, who had claimed the shooting was a "false flag" operation planned by "crisis actors," conceded during the damages trial that the shooting was "100% real."

Details: The lawsuit, brought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, had sought $150 million in compensation for defamation and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  • Heslin and Lewis testified that they had to endure trauma not only from the murder of their son Jesse Lewis but also from threats online and over the phone, street harassment and gun shots fired at their home — all triggered by Jones' false claims.
  • Testimony also included videos of Jones and Infowars employees mocking Heslin, and an account from a forensic psychiatrist who said the parents suffered from complex post-traumatic stress disorder caused by ongoing trauma.
  • The News Times reported earlier this week that Heslin and Lewis have gone into isolation and hired security after a series of "encounters" in Texas.

The big picture: Jones and his InfoWars empire are attempting to use the bankruptcy court to limit the cost of litigation damages.

Worth noting: The lawyer representing Heslin and Lewis accused Jones of perjury on Wednesday, saying Jones' lawyer sent him years' worth of texts and emails from Jones' phone.

  • The Jan. 6 select committee has since requested those records as part of its investigation into the Capitol insurrection.
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