Two lawsuits were filed against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars network last night on behalf of the parents of children murdered in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, who Jones claimed were “crisis actors”—a claim he maintains to this day.
The suits filed against Jones last night seek more than $1 million in damages from Jones for proliferating the objectively false claims that the parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook were actors and that no children actually died on the scene of the mass shooting. Sebastian Murdock at HuffPost reported:
In a pair of lawsuits filed late Monday, the parents of two children who died in the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, say Jones’ repeated lies and conspiratorial ravings have led to death threats. The suits join at least two other recent cases accusing the Infowars host of defamation.
Neil Heslin, the father of a 6-year-old boy killed in the shooting, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, who lost their own little boy, filed the suits in Austin, Texas, where Jones’ conspiracy-minded media outlet is based. Each suit is seeking more than $1 million in damages from Jones, Infowars and a related company, Free Speech Systems LLC. Infowars reporter Owen Shroyer is also named in one of the suits.
The new suits come on the heels of a marathon of press events Jones hosted in Washington last week, at which he spoke about his fight against a separate lawsuit from a person he had claimed was responsible for the murder of a counter-protester at last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuits filed late last night are being represented by Mark Bankston, who filed another recent suit against Jones seeking damages for a plaintiff who Infowars incorrectly identified as the Parkland shooter. The suit, Fontaine v. Jones, alleges that Infowars’ false reporting resulted in death threats for the incorrectly accused young man and seeks $1 million in damages.
Jones told us at last week’s press conference, “We said in this Texas case that it’s unconfirmed, we didn’t say the guy’s name. Then in the lawsuit, they use other people’s screenshots of other websites in the exhibits, most of them are wrong, a few of the screenshots are real, to then misrepresent. That gets lawsuits thrown out. So these lawsuits are being filed as, basically, hoaxes—this PR so that old corporate media can say, ‘Oh look, they’re fake. They’re getting sued.’ But everybody knows this is all part of an anti-free-speech campaign.”
Jones has also been the subject of two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints first obtained by the Daily Mail that allege that Jones made anti-Semitic and racist comments and groped an Infowars employee. The complaints also paint Infowars as a hostile working environment where people of color were subject to racial slurs and ridicule. Jones denied the claims to Daily Mail.
In recent months, Jones has also publicly sparred with YouTube over his outlet’s violations of the platform’s community guidelines. At the time of this report, Jones can still post videos to YouTube.
Jones tells his listeners that legal actions taken against him are actually part of a secret plot to take down Infowars. But the lawsuits filed against him illustrate precisely how vicious his outlet’s reckless promotion of conspiracy theories can be for its victims.