Infowars host Alex Jones backpedaled on his claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax during his defamation trial this week. On Thursday, a jury ruled he must pay more than $4 million to the parents of a victim of the 2012 massacre.
The shooting, which left 20 students and six faculty members dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, is the deadliest classroom school shooting in U.S. history. Multiple families have sued Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, after Jones told his audience the shooting was a hoax involving actors aimed at increasing gun control. In every case, he has been found liable by default.
Jones admitted in court this week that the shooting was a real event.
“It’s 100% real, as I said on the radio yesterday,” Jones said. “As I said here yesterday. It’s 100% real.”
Parents Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin were seeking $150 million in damages — from both Jones and his media company, Infowars.
Infowars’ parent company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy in late July.
During the trial, one of the family’s attorneys revealed he possessed Jones’s phone history. Jones’s attorney had sent it, accidentally. The phone documents revealed Jones had lied and contained Infowars’ finance information.