Alex Jones fined nearly $1 billion over Sandy Hook hoaxes

A Connecticut jury has ordered Alex Jones to pay nearly $1 billion in damages to people who said they suffered from the right-wing media figure’s claims that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax.

For years, Jones falsely claimed that the 2012 school shooting that killed 20 children and six teachers was a plot by anti-gun activists and that the victims’ families were in fact actors.

Some of these families have sued Jones, arguing that they suffered abuse and death threats and that he benefited from spreading lies.

Jones was ordered Wednesday to pay a total of $965 million in damages to the families of eight victims and an FBI agent who responded to the shooting, it said. “Every single one of those families was drowning in grief, and Alex Jones put his foot right on top of them,” attorney Chris Mattei told the jury.

On Wednesday, Jones told listeners to his media platform InfoWars that there was “no money” to pay for the damage and that he would appeal. Earlier this year, companies owned by Jones filed for bankruptcy.

“You think Alex Jones has a billion dollars, he doesn’t have a billion dollars,” InfoWars host Owen Shroyer told listeners Wednesday. Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis, said on the show, “Haters are gonna hate.”

The lawsuit alleged InfoWars used the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory to gain listeners and make money, and presented evidence that sales of diet pills and other products increased after Jones began talking about the shooting to discuss.

Jones admitted at trial that the Sandy Hook shooting was real, but he also lashed out during questioning. “I’ve already said I’m sorry and I’m done saying I’m sorry,” he told the court last month.

The damages will be split between the families of the Sandy Hook victims, who sued, and the FBI agent, who was also molested.

Jones was found liable in three lawsuits filed in Texas and Connecticut for failing to produce documents, including financial information, requested by the court. Trials are being held to decide how much damages he should pay.

In August, a Texas jury ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million in damages to the parents of one of the children killed. Jones still faces another trial in Texas.

Despite being banned from social media sites like YouTube and Facebook, InfoWars has continued to attract millions of viewers. According to data company Similarweb, the company saw 7.3 million visits to its website last month. Alex Jones fined nearly $1 billion over Sandy Hook hoaxes

Adam Bradshaw

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