Parents of two 6-year-old children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 sued Alex Jones Monday for repeatedly telling his viewers the massacre was a “giant hoax” orchestrated by gun control groups.
For years, the right-wing internet and radio talk show host has been telling his audience that the shooting, which took the lives of 20 elementary school children and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, did not happen and that parents of the children are crisis actors.
“In the last month and a half, I have not come out and said this was clearly a staged event,” Jones said in 2013. “Unfortunately, evidence is beginning to come out that points more and more in that direction.” On a show called “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed” last April, Jones called an Anderson Cooper interview with a Sandy Hook parent after the massacre fake.
“The whole thing is a giant hoax. How do you deal with a total hoax?” Jones said on his radio program in 2014.
Now three Sandy Hook parents are suing Jones for defamation, saying the "InfoWars" host's repeated lies about the shooting have led to death threats against them, HuffPost reported.
“Even after these folks had to experience this trauma, for the next five years they were tormented by Alex Jones with vicious lies about them,” Mark Bankston, the lawyer representing the parents, told HuffPost. “And these lies were meant to convince his audience that the Sandy Hook parents are frauds and have perpetrated a sinister lie on the American people.”
The parents bringing the suits against Jones are Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, parents of Noah Pozner, and Neil Helsin, father of Jesse Helsin. Jones has targeted these parents personally, calling De La Rosa an actor and calling Helsin’s account of what it was like to hold his dead son’s body a lie.
The death threats are well-documented. A Florida woman was sentenced to five months in prison last summer for sending death-threat emails and voicemails to Pozner.
The lawsuits were filed Monday in Travis County Court in Austin, Texas, where Jones’ media company, Infowars, is based. Jones and one of his “reporters” Owen Shroyer, who has also spread lies about the parents, are named as defendants.
This isn’t the first time Jones has been sued for defamation. A man who recorded the car attack that killed one person in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the white supremacist march there last August filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones in March after Jones called him a “CIA asset.” Earlier this month, a man Jones falsely accused of being the shooter in the south Florida high school shooting in February sued Jones for defamation.
The Sandy Hook parents are seeking more than $1 million in damages, according to HuffPost.
Cover image: Alex Jones from Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson