In the Sandy Hook defamation case, Alex Jones was told to pay almost $1 billion.
Alex Jones has been ordered to pay $965 million in damages to the people who sued him for defamation because of the lies he told about the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Eight of the families of the Sandy Hook victims and a former FBI agent were among the 15 people who sued Jones.
On Wednesday afternoon, a jury in Connecticut came to a unanimous decision. The judge then read out loud a detailed report of the different damages that Jones and his media company, Free Speech Systems, owed to each plaintiff.
Jones broke Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act when he used lies about the Sandy Hook shooting to sell things on his website. Punitive damages are not limited by this law.
Jones had already been found guilty of slander for spreading false information about the shooting in December 2012 that killed 20 students and 6 teachers. Adam Lanza, the person who opened fire, also killed his mother and himself.
Jones said that the Sandy Hook shooting was “as fake as a $3 bill” on his show “Infowars.” He said that the shooting was faked by the government to get people to give up their guns. Jones said that the people who died were actors who made up the massacre.
Lawyers for the families said last week that Jones has been making money for years by spreading lies about Sandy Hook. These lies have brought more people to Jones’s Infowars website and helped him sell more of his products. Meanwhile, Jones’s followers have been harassing and threatening the families for ten years, and they are “drowning in grief,” according to attorney Chris Mattei.
Jones said at his trial in August for slandering Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Jesse Lewis, who was killed at Sandy Hook, that he now thinks the shooting is “100% real.” Last month, a Texas jury told him to pay Heslin and Lewis $49 million in damages.
Jones was live on his show when the verdict came out. He told his audience, “They want to scare us away from asking questions about Uvalde or Parkland. We’re not leaving. We’re not stopping… The forces of Satan want to start a nuclear war all over the world.
Jones had said earlier in the show, “This must be what Hell is like, because they just read out the damages. Even if you don’t have enough money” (via NBC News). He also said that he had “lost track” of how much damage had been done and had started selling “vitamineral fusion” from the Infowars store to make money.