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American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones declares bankruptcy in Texas court

Texas, United StatesEdited By: Sneha SwaminathanUpdated: Dec 02, 2022, 11:18 PM IST
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Photograph:(AP)

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Jones, the founder of the website InfoWars and the broadcaster of a well-known radio show, has been found guilty of defamation in many lawsuits brought by the relatives of the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy that claimed the lives of 20 children and six instructors. The families of the eight Sandy Hook victims and the FBI agent who had sued Jones for defamation will each receive $965 million, according to a verdict rendered in October by a Connecticut jury. Punitive damages were later increased by $473 million by the trial's judge.

Alex Jones, a far-right US conspiracy theorist who has been ordered to pay up to $1.5 billion to the families of Sandy Hook school massacre victims, filed for bankruptcy on Friday. Jones, who falsely asserted for years that the 2012 massacre was fake, submitted a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition to a Texas court. He stated in the petition that he had obligations of between $1 billion and $10 billion and assets valued between $1 million and $10 million. Jones, the founder of the website InfoWars and the broadcaster of a well-known radio programme, has been held responsible for defamation in a number of cases brought by the family members of the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy that left 20 children and six teachers dead.

In October, a Connecticut jury decided to pay $965 million to the families of the eight Sandy Hook victims as well as to the FBI agent who had sued Jones for slander. Later, the trial's judge added an extra $473 million in punitive damages.

In a separate trial, a jury in Texas found Jones liable for the death of a couple's six-year-old son by the 20-year-old shooter who carried out the Sandy Hook massacre.

A second Jones-owned company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy in July after InfoWars filed for bankruptcy in April. A debtor may restructure their assets in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case with the assistance of the court.

Jones cited his debts to a number of the Sandy Hook families in the personal bankruptcy petition, where he also claimed that he has between 50 and 99 creditors.

Next rapper Kanye West's controversial appearance on the InfoWars show, when he professed his "love" of Nazis and respect for Adolf Hitler, Jones filed for bankruptcy the following day.

The Sandy Hook tragedy was "manufactured" by pro-gun control activists, according to Jones, who also claimed that the parents were "crisis actors" on his programme for years. However, Jones has subsequently conceded that it was "100 per cent genuine."

Jones was charged with making enormous earnings from the specific products he allegedly sold on his website.

Jones, a fervent follower of former US president Donald Trump, is also being investigated in connection with the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

(With inputs from agencies)

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