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Jones claimed that the 2012 Connecticut school massacre was fabricated by the US government to deprive Americans of the right to guns.
A Texas jury has ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $49.3 million in punitive damages to the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Jones, who owns the far-right website Infowars, claimed that the tragedy at the school was staged and that the parents of the dead 20 children were actors. This is reported by The Washington Post.
The publication writes that the trial began amid statements by Jones that the deadliest shooting at an American school was a hoax organized by the US government to deprive Americans of the right to guns .
The parents of six-year-old Jesse Lewis, who died in the Sandy Hook, demanded compensation in the amount of $ 150 million, accusing Jones that, after his publications, his subscribers staged a severe harassment that forced them even to hire security.
As a result, the jury decided to pay $49.3 million for defamation and $4.1 million in compensation for the suffering that the parents of the deceased child had to go through. The decision was motivated by a desire to discourage Jones from spreading slander.
“He stood up to the monster Adam Lanza and saved the lives of nine of his classmates. I hope I did the right thing when I was able to go up against Alex Jones … I hope this inspires other people to do the same,” said the mother of the child, Scarlett Lewis.
In response to the lawsuit, Jones did not provide any counterarguments, so the jury automatically sided with the plaintiffs. Therefore, the jury only decided the issue of the amount of damages.
Jones' lawyer acknowledged that the publications on the Infowars website were irresponsible, but insisted that Jones was personally not responsible for the actions of his subscribers.
What is known about Alex Jones
Jones is considered an influential conspiracy theorist in the American media, who is a supporter of former US President Donald Trump. Jones made good money from his publications – his media company is estimated at up to $ 270 million. Thanks to his popularity and the number of subscribers, Jones earned up to $ 50 million a year, despite the fact that large social networks are trying to limit his activities.
Among the most his high-profile statements are the assertion that the US government was involved in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York.