Alex Jones, who was sued for claiming on his radio show that Sandy Hook was a hoax, has just been ordered to pay big money to the families of the Sandy Hook victims.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay $4.11 million in defamation damages for falsely claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, a Texas jury said on Thursday after deliberating for a full day in Travis County.
Jones, the radio and web host of InfoWars, asserted the massacre was fabricated, endearing him to conspiracy theorists and hardline gun owner rights advocates.
Ten jurors agreed on the damages amount, which was spread out over several juror questions.
While on the stand this week, Jones admitted that the school shooting was “100% real” during his second day providing testimony. He also conceded that it was irresponsible of him to declare that the school shooting was a hoax.
Jones had a rough day on the stand yesterday, when he was accused of lying on the stand about text messages on his phone. The judge had to repeatedly get on to him:
The trial was heated at times, with Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of the 459th District Court in Travis County telling Jones that he couldn’t lie to the jury during his first day of testimony.
“You may not say to the jury that you’ve complied with discovery, that isn’t true,” Gamble told Jones. “You may not tell the jury that you’re bankrupt.”
During cross-examination, plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Bankston said Jones hadn’t complied with discovery. He also noted that Jones’ defense team had accidentally sent him a record of previously requested text messages from the past two years only recently.
“That’s how I know you lied to me,” said Bankston, who said Jones had claimed he had no Sandy Hook texts on his phone.
In a emergency motion hearing Thursday morning, Jones’ attorney Andino Reynal asked the judge to for a protective order on all of those documents, including 2.3 gigabytes worth of materials that his legal assistant accidentally sent to opposing counsel.
Bankston contended that the motion was frivolous and revealed that the Jan. 6 Committee asked him to turn over the text messages. Unless the judge seals the records, Bankston said he would turn them over.
Gamble denied the motion—and an accompanying motion for a mistrial—to immediately seal the information “without knowing what’s in it” and offered to give Reynal time to identify specific materials he wanted sealed.
If you count all the money Jones has had to spend on his legal team plus what he’s going to have to pay the families, he might be bankrupt by the time it’s all over.