Alex Jones, the host of Infowars, was ordered by a jury in Texas on Friday to make restitution payments totaling $45 million to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of a child who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. The child was six years old. This is on top of the $4 million that he was ordered to pay the couple on Thursday, according to the judge’s ruling.
In Jones’ renowned right-wing podcast, Infowars, he repeatedly referred to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School as a hoax, leading Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis to demand that Jones pay them a total of $150 million in damages. The attorneys for the parents alleged that Jones made money off of his claims that Sandy Hook and numerous other tragedies were manufactured conspiracies utilised by the United States government to crack down on gun legislation and control the public.
The accusations against Alex Jones
The information that the Infowars presenter had generated enormous earnings from selling items through his shows was exposed in hacked messages that were exchanged between Alex Jones and his attorneys, as reported by the Independent. The attorneys for Heslin and Lewis allege that this is a direct consequence of the attention he gained as a result of the conspiracy theories he shared regarding the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Wesley Todd Ball, the attorney for Heslin and Lewis, stated that the trial ought to serve as an example to those individuals who profit from the dissemination of false news in an interview with CNN.
Jones asserted that the punishment was excessively severe, and that it would lead to the collapse of Infowars if it was carried out. In response, Ball stated that this was the plan, adding that it would assure that he could no longer maintain a platform and that it would prevent him from speaking publicly.
However, in light of the released messages, which revealed how much money Jones had actually made from the programme, Ball conceded that even $45 million in punitive penalties was not sufficient to weaken the influence of the Infowars presenter.
F. Andino Reynal, the attorney who represents Jones, said in court that the punishment would not act as a deterrent for future offences. In contrast to Ball’s claims, Reynal asserted that Jones played a significant part in challenging the deceptive strategies that were purportedly employed by the United States government.
Jones testified in court on Wednesday that the massacre did not occur and that it was not a fabrication. Nevertheless, he has also asserted in court that Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis are being utilised by the government as instruments in their attempt to discredit him.