Alex Jones has been sued for defamation by three parents whose children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Jones is a popular radio show host who also operates the conspiracy theory website Infowars. InfoWars was also named as a defendant.
Two lawsuits have been filed against the radio show host. One was filed by Leonard Pozner and his former wife, Veronique De La Rosa, whose son Noah Pozner was a victim of the attack. The other was filed by Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Heslin was killed at Sandy Hook. Both children were 6 years old when their lives were taken.
Both lawsuits were filed in Travis County District Court in Austin, Texas. Jones lives, broadcasts his show and operates Infowars in Austin. Each lawsuit seeks at least $1 million in damages. The parents are represented by Houston lawyer Mark D. Bankston.
Twenty children and six adults died in the school massacre in Newtown, Conn. Many Sandy Hook parents suffered fierce attacks by conspiracy theorists after the massacre. They were often accused of being actors in an elaborate scheme to enact stricter gun control laws.
Jones has long questioned whether the shooting really occurred, claiming the shooting was “completely fake” and a “giant hoax”. The conspiracy theories reached a far greater audience through Jones. Jones’ defense is that his efforts to discuss both sides of the issue have been misunderstood. Jones said in a statement, “It is every American’s right to question any big event, especially when it’s seized on to take the basic liberties of Americans.
These lawsuits are the first legal actions taken against Jones for the false claims he has made about Sandy Hook. The lawsuits specifically reference a segment on his radio show called “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed,” which aired on April 22, 2017. Jones highlighted a glitch known as a compression artifact, a distortion common in video encoding, in an interview that Ms. De La Rosa did after the shooting with CNN’s Anderson Cooper as evidence the interview was staged and the participants were acting.
The suit also referenced an Infowars video, which was later partly replayed on the radio show, questioning whether Heslin actually held his dead son at any time after the incident. Jones published a statement on Infowars that his lawyers were very confident that these lawsuits will be found to be frivolous.