Friday August 5, 2022

After the jury reached a verdict in Alex Jonesdefamation damages trial and ordered him to pay the plaintiffs compensatory damages of $4.1m, the bombastic Infowars host nevertheless declared victory.

Mr Jones was taken to court by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Sandy Hook massacre victim six-year-old Jesse Lewis, after they alleged they had endured years of torment and anguish because of his claims that the 2012 mass shooting was a hoax.

While the jury awarded a significantly smaller amount than the plaintiffs’ request for $150m, it was far more than the $8 offered by Mr Jones’ attorney — one dollar for each charge against him.

On Thursday night, following the verdict, Mr Jones shared a video on his Infowars platform giving his take on the jury’s decision.

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“I admitted I was wrong. I made a mistake,” he said. “But not on purpose. I apologised to the families. And the jury understood that what I did to those families was wrong, but I didn’t do it on purpose.”

“I trusted God. I trust the truth coming out. At the end of the day, I don’t have all these millions of dollars they claim I have,” Mr Jones added. “But this is still a major victory for truth.”

Mr Jones, who was caught perjuring himself on the stand by the plaintiffs’ attorney and reprimanded by the judge for lying under oath, also claimed that his testimony had woken up the jury to new facts — hence why they opted for a lower amount.

The jury returns to court on Friday to consider further punitive damages against Mr Jones which could see the $4.1m compensatory total increased. Just one witness will be called, a forensic accountant, to establish Jones’ total wealth and the total assets of Infowars’ parent company, Free Speech Systems.

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In July, ahead of the trial, Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy, following three other companies owned by Jones.

During the trial, Mr Jones claimed that compensatory damages of $2m would wipe out Infowars, and in his Thursday video he claimed the show was “close to being shut down” and “broke”, and the awarded damages exceeded his own assets and that of the company.

As always, he implored his followers to buy merchandise to support him and the company. Evidence presented during the trial claimed that just his prepper food packages were at one point bringing in between $100,000 and $200,000 per day, sometimes rising to $800,000.

Mr Jones faces two more defamation trials for cases brought against him by Sandy Hook parents. Another in Texas, where he is based, and one with eight families in Connecticut, where the tragedy occurred.

This week’s trial predictably included a number of dramatic moments — most notably when the plaintiffs’ attorney revealed to Mr Jones that his own lawyer had handed over the entire contents of his the conspiracy theorist’s phone, including text messages dating back to 2019.

The data is now being handed over to the House January 6 committee in Washington, DC.

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