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Alex Jones’ Infowars files for bankruptcy after Sandy Hook defamation suits

Demonstrators Protests At Texas State Capitol Against Governor's Stay At Home Order
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Infowars founder Alex Jones interacts with supporters at the Texas State Capitol building on April 18, 2020, in Austin, Texas, during a protest calling for the country to be opened up despite the risk of COVID-19.

The Infowars talk show, hosted and founded by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, has filed for bankruptcy.

Through court filings with the federal bankruptcy court in Texas, Infowars said lawsuits against Jones are the primary cause of its financial distress. Jones has lost two defamation lawsuits brought by families of victims killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown. Jones has previously said the tragedy and everything about it was “fake.” He has since acknowledged the shooting occurred.

Though damages have not been determined in either case, the proceedings will next focus on how much Jones and Infowars must pay. A jury that will make that determination is expected to be selected in a Texas court next week, but the bankruptcy announcement could delay the lawsuits.

Infowars claimed it and Jones have spent more than $10 million in legal fees, the filing said.

The declaration of bankruptcy is another tactic to put litigation on hold, said Elizabeth Williamson, a New York Times feature writer. She is the author of “Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth.”

Speaking on Connecticut Public Radio’s Colin McEnroe Show on Monday, Williamson said Jones has made a lot of money through “spreading the Sandy Hook hoax,” with revenues of up to $50 million a year.

She said Jones claimed he owed money to private companies. Sandy Hook families said in a lawsuit filing that he’s hiding financial assets, including claims that he moved tens of millions of dollars to shell companies owned by his parents, his children or himself.

“This bankruptcy declaration is kind of the latest salvo in the run up to trial, which it is. The first trial is supposed to begin in exactly a week, so this is kind of the latest ripple,” said Williamson, referring to the jury selection scheduled for next week in Texas. “We’ll just see how it impacts that trial date.”

Infowars said in the bankruptcy court filing that it does intend to emerge from bankruptcy after restructuring. It is unclear what effects the bankruptcy would have on Infowars or Jones, as reported by NPR.

Jones’ lawyer and Infowars did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Connecticut Public Radio.

Catherine Shen is a Connecticut Public’s education reporter. The Los Angeles native comes to CT Public after a decade of print and digital reporting across the country.

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