Alex Jones and Free Speech Systems, InfoWars’ parent company, have been found liable for Jones’ Sandy Hook lies—to the tune of nearly $1 billion.
The conspiracy theorist had spent years claiming that the deadliest elementary school shooting in US history was a “giant hoax” and accusing victims’ family members of being “crisis actors.” (As I’ve reported previously, Jones eventually recanted, referring to his behavior as a “form of psychosis.”)
After a 17-day trial in which grieving families of eight Sandy Hook victims shared stories of enduring relentless harassment, including death and rape threats, from Jones’ legions of fans, a jury ordered Jones and Free Speech Systems to pay those families—and FBI agent William Aldenberg, whom Jones also targeted—$965 million.
Many people familiar with the case were surprised by the size of the damages. Several of Jones’ companies have filed for bankruptcy, but victims say the moves were an attempt to keep Jones from having to pay. It’s unclear how much money he actually has or what the judgment will mean for InfoWars.
Despite the huge financial hit, Jones doesn’t appear inclined to stop his efforts to make money off of the tragedy and the legal proceedings—nor does he seem to feel any remorse. In a live-reaction video to the judgment announcement, Jones referred to the proceedings as a “show trial” and insisted that he didn’t know the victims.
“I don’t have any money,” he said, “so it’s all a big joke.”
I’m sure the victims’ families would disagree.