February 7, 2023

On Friday, a jury in Texas, Alex Jones’ hometown, unanimously decided to punish him, valued at $45.2 millionat the top of $4.1 million they had already ordered him to pay To the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

The defamation suit was about Jones’ regular defamation, on his Infowars website, that Sandy Hook was a hoax, staged, and that none of the 20 deceased children, or their parents, were real:

From October 26, 2017: “I don’t know what really happened with Sandy Hook, folks. We looked at all sides, played devil’s advocate on both sides, but I mean, it’s as fake as a three dollar bill.”

From January 13, 2015: “Synthetic Sandy Hook, totally fake, with cast in my opinion manufactured.”

The path to Alex Jones’ account has been as ugly and brutal as it turned out from last week’s trial, according to reporter Martha Titchener.

Scarlett Lewis, Jesse’s mother, addressed Jones from the podium: “Jesse was real. I’m a real mom… I know you know that; that’s the problem.”

Jesse’s father, Neil HeslinAnd the He described the harassment, including death threats, that he and the families of other Sandy Hook victims faced because Jones’ followers believed him. Heslin told the court, I can’t even describe the past nine and a half years of hell that I and the others had to endure.”

Jones testified, “I did some wrong things, and I didn’t do it on purpose, and I apologize.”

In one of several stunning moments in court last week, contributor Alex Jones suddenly admitted he lied. “Especially after I met the parents, and uh it’s 100% realHe said “.

CBS News legal analyst Ricky Kleiman told Tishner, “Alex Jones has been exposed as a liar, and when Alex Jones confesses, admit That he knew this happened at Sandy Hook and that it wasn’t a hoax, if it didn’t make you shiver, I don’t know what would.”

Another of those moments: The revelation that Jones’ lawyer mistakenly sent The Other Side years of texting fix He lied – the phone records that Jones claimed under oath did not exist. they Now concerns the January 6 committee.

“There is certainly a possibility that the plaintiff will look at the record in this case and say, ‘This is someone who committed perjury,'” Kleiman said.

Titchener asked, “How much trouble does he really have?”

She replied, “I think Alex Jones lives in a world full of problems.”

Like a sideshow for the drama Inside, Jones shouted “Witch Hunt” outside the courtroom.

“This is kangaroo court,” he said. This is a political act.”

Then he cried poorly. His company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy.

Forensic scientist Bernard Pettingell testified that Jones and his company were actually worth between $135 and $270 million, and that he was protecting the money in shell companies.

He told the jury, “Alex Jones, as much a defector, as much as he is an outsider, is a very successful man. … Everything flows to Alex Jones. I think Alex Jones made all the major decisions, and I think Alex Jones knows where the money is.” .

Will Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin see that the money they hope will be a deterrent, will prevent Alex Jones and others from profiting from spreading lies? Mostly not. Texas imposes penalties for damages. That $45 million is likely to be defeated.

His attorney stated that with the trial over, Jones would continue his show. “Alex Jones will be on the air today, he will be on the air tomorrow, and he will be on the air next week,” he said.

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

“What judgment really means is telling the truth,” Kleiman said. “Is it really going to change the content of the information age, the lies, the misinformation, the ruse, the lies? I don’t think we know that yet, but it’s at least the beginning.”

Story produced by Marie Ravalli. Editor: Mike Levine.

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