Alex Jones ordered to pay $45m in damages over Sandy Hook lies

A court in the United States has ordered right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $45.2m in punitive damages to the parents of a six-year-old boy killed in the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook, on top of the money he has already been told to pay for the suffering he put them through with years of false claims that the school shooting was a hoax.

The total sum of $49.3m, while considerable, is below the $150m Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis had sought for the years of lies that they, and other parents, had to endure as a result of Jones’ Texas-based InfoWars talk shows.

Afterwards, Lewis said that Jones – who was not in court to hear the decision – had been held accountable.

She said when she took the stand and looked Jones in the eye, she thought of her son – Jesse Lewis – who was credited with saving lives by yelling “run” when the killer paused in his rampage.

“He stood up to the bully Adam Lanza and saved nine of his classmates’ lives,” Lewis said. “I hope that I did that incredible courage justice when I was able to confront Alex Jones, who is also a bully. I hope that inspires other people to do the same.”

The attack on the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012, left 20 children and six staff dead, and remains the deadliest in US history.

Jones, 48, a prominent supporter of former president Donald Trump, falsely claimed the massacre had been staged.

He has since acknowledged the shootings were “100 percent real,” but the Sandy Hook families say his denialism, coupled with his ability to influence the beliefs of thousands of followers, caused significant emotional trauma.

He is also accused of profiting from his harmful lies and disinformation.

Lanza used a Remington Bushmaster rifle during his rampage through the school, which ended when he killed himself with the sound of approaching police sirens.

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