June 6, 2023

On Friday, a jury in Texas, home of Alex Jones, unanimously decided to punish him, Up to $45.2 millionabove They have ordered him to pay $4.1 million To the parents of Jesse Lewis, 6, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

The defamation lawsuit is about Jones’s frequent rants on his Infowars website that Sandy Hook was a hoax, staged, and neither the 20 dead children nor their parents were real:

From 10/26/2017: “I don’t know what the hell happened to Sandy Hook, guys. We looked into it from all sides, we played devil’s advocate from both sides, but I mean, It’s as hypocritical as a three-dollar bill.”

From January 13, 2015: “Sandy Hook is a synthetic, utterly fake, actor made, in my opinion.”

Alex Jones’ road to reckoning was as ugly and crazy as last week’s trial, according to reporter Martha Teichner.

Jesse’s mother Scarlett Lewis told Jones from the stands:Jesse is real. I’m a real mom…I know you know; that’s the problem. “

Jesse’s father Neil Hessling, described the harassment he and other Sandy Hook victims’ families faced, including death threats, because Jones’ followers believed him. Hesling told the court, I can’t even describe the hell on earth that I and others have had to endure for the past nine and a half years. “

“I did something wrong, I didn’t mean it, and I apologize,” Jones testified.

In one of several stunning moments in court last week, a suddenly repentant Alex Jones admitted he had lied. “Especially since I met my parents and, uh, This is 100% true“He says.

CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman told Teichner, “Alex Jones was exposed as a liar, and when Alex Jones subsequently admitted, admit He knew it happened at Sandy Hook and it wasn’t a hoax, if it didn’t give you chills, I don’t know what would. “

Another moment: Revelation that Jones’ lawyer mistakenly sent each other years-long text messages prove He lied – the phone records Jones claimed under oath did not exist.they are Interested in the Jan 6 committee now.

“It’s certainly possible that prosecutors looked at the records in this case and said, ‘This is a perjurer,'” Kleeman said.

Teichner asked, “How much trouble is he in?”

“I think Alex Jones is in a world full of trouble,” she replied.

Like an episode of the drama inside, Jones yells “Witch Hunt” outside the courtroom.

“It’s a kangaroo field,” he said. “It’s a political move.”

Then he cried miserably. His company, Free Speech Systems, file for bankruptcy.

Forensic economist Bernard Pettingill testified that Jones and his company were actually worth between $13.5 and $270 million, and that he had been protecting shell company funds.

He told the jury, “Alex Jones, even though he’s a maverick, he’s an outsider, he’s a very successful guy. . . . Everything goes to Alex Jones. . . I think Alex Jones made all the big decisions, and I think Alex Jones knew where the money was.”

Will Scarlett Lewis and Neil Hessling see that the money they hope will act as a deterrent and stop Alex Jones and others from profiting from spreading lies? maybe not. Texas Limits Punitive Damages. That $45 million could be cut significantly.

Jones will continue his performance as the trial ends, his lawyers said. “Alex Jones is going to air today, he’s going to air tomorrow, he’s going to air next week,” he said.

But Jones still faces other tests in Texas and Connecticut, where lies could be more expensive.

“The verdict really means telling the truth,” Kleiman said. “Will it really change the tone of the information age, lies, misinformation, ruse, falsehood? I don’t think we know yet, but at least it’s a start.”

Story produced by Marie Rafaeli. Editor: Mike Levine.

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