A jury ruled that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay $4.1 million to the parents of Sandy Hook school massacre victims. In their lawsuit for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse died in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, sought $150 million.
The trial of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones revealed interesting details about his media company, which he used to spread lies about the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Mr. Jones began transferring $11,000 a day into a shell company he controls after being ruled liable by default in the Sandy Hook cases, a consultant told the jury.
A lawyer for the families of Jesse Lewis and Scarlett Lewis presented records showing that Infowars had made more than $800,000 a day at one point in 2018. Mr. Jones’s lawyer asked for a $270,000 award, saying Mr. Jones had apologized repeatedly and offered to have the parents on his show.
A judge held Alex Jones liable for defaming the parents of Sandy Hook victims in a trial that included several days of emotional testimony.
Alex Jones was ordered to pay more than $4 million in compensatory damages in a defamation suit brought by parents of Sandy Hook victims. Days earlier, he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for Free Speech Systems, the parent company of his Infowars media network.
A forensic economist testified that Mr. Jones’s net worth was between $135 million and $270 million, and that Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy filing revealed several key observations about Mr. Jones’s finances.
Infowars averaged $53.2 million in revenue between September 2015 and December 2018, and brought in more than $64 million last year, according to Mr. Pettingill. At one point, Mr. Jones was paying himself an average of $6 million a year, he said.
Mr. Pettingill said he had managed to track nine private Jones-associated companies, but Mr. Jones’s team resisted discovery orders. He believes Mr. Jones knows where the money is.