US shock jock Alex Jones sued by six more families of Sandy Hook victims

Mr Jones calls the lawsuit an attack on the First Amendment

Emily Shugerman
New York
Friday 25 May 2018 06:17 BST
InfoWars host Alex Jones has been sued by six Sandy Hook victims' families
InfoWars host Alex Jones has been sued by six Sandy Hook victims' families

Family members of six victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting have sued radio host Alex Jones for allegedly suggesting the 2012 massacre was a hoax.

The plaintiffs in the suit, filed on Wednesday in a Connecticut court, claim Mr Jones was the “chief amplifier" for a group that "worked in concert to create and propagate loathsome, false narratives about the Sandy Hook victims, and promote their harassment and abuse”.

Mr Jones is the host of far-right radio show InfoWars, and boasts more than 2m subscribers on YouTube. He is known for promulgating conspiracy theories like “Pizzagate” – the false theory that Democrats were running a child sex trafficking ring out of the basement of a Washington DC pizza restaurant.

The year after the Sandy Hook shooting, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people at the Connecticut elementary school, Mr Jones began suggesting that some of the victims’ families were paid “crisis actors”. He also questioned whether the entire shooting may have been staged, though he later claimed was only playing the devil’s advocate.

The lawsuit claims that, as a result of Mr Jones’s statements, the victims families were forced to endure "malicious and cruel abuse at the hands of ruthless and unscrupulous people” . The abuse allegedly included death threats and physical harassment, as well as strangers video taping them, according to the lawsuit. Some families even moved to undisclosed locations to avoid the harassment.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones addresses his thoughts on Sandy Hook shooting being a hoax

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit also include a first responder to the Sandy Hook shooting, who claims he was also accused of being a crisis actor. The suit also names several of Mr Jones’s businesses, as well as two independent journalists who the plaintiffs claim helped spread Mr Jones’s message.

Mr Jones denied the claims in his InfoWars broadcast on Wednesday, describing the lawsuit as an attack on the First Amendment and claiming his statements had been taken out of context.

"This is defamation against me, it's an information war. It's a misrepresentation,” he said. “They can find lawyers every week to file disinformation. It says they're desperate and they're wild and it shows we've got to get past their intimidation."

Representatives from InfoWars did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

Two other families of Sandy Hook victims filed defamation suits against Mr Jones in Texas last month. The host responded to those suits by saying that he did not believe the shooting had been staged, but did believe the victims’ families were being controlled by the media and the Democratic party.

"They’re being manipulated by the Democratic party, by the big media, to be part of the news cycle, to say, 'Alex Jones is fake news' […] to set the president, as they admit, to de-platform everybody and kill the First Amendment," he said.

Mr Jones has also been sued by a man who claims Mr Jones falsely identified him as the gunman in the Parkland school shooting, and by a man who says Mr Jones incorrectly labelled him as a CIA operative at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last summer.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in