In the aftermath of the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, InfoWars’ Alex Jones has made numerous contentious allegations, including that the government “staged” the incident and that “actors” were used in the process.
While family members and journalists have been pushing back against the conspiracy theories promulgated by Jones for more than five years, in April, Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, the parents of Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner, filed a defamation lawsuit.
The lawsuit states in part:
This conspiracy theory, which has been pushed by InfoWars and Mr. Jones since the day of the shooting, alleges that the Sandy Hook massacre did not happen, or that it was staged by the government and concealed using actors, and that the parents of the victims are participants in a horrifying cover-up.
The text of the suit goes on to quote Jones, who has claimed that Veronique De La Rosa’s interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper was staged in front of a blue-screen, that footage of the children exiting the school was a “photo-op,” and that the entire shooting was a “giant hoax,” among other disturbing assertions.
Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner have allegedly had to change addresses as many as seven times due to “death threats and online harassment,” according to The New York Times.
The lawsuit claims that the statements made by Jones and InfoWars are defamatory, and demands “relief in excess of $1,000,000,” as well as a trial by jury:
[The] broadcasts, while defamatory in their own right, are also continuations and elaborations of an underlying defamatory assertion which Defendants have advanced since 2013, namely that the Plaintiffs have lied to the American people about the death of their son and have participated in a horrifying criminal cover-up…
Plaintiffs have suffered general and special damages, including a severe degree of mental stress and anguish which have disrupted their daily routine and caused a high degree of psychological pain. Plaintiffs have also suffered damage to their reputation and image, both up to the present and into the future…
Pursuant to Rule 47 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiffs are seeking relief in excess of $1,000,000. Plaintiff demands a jury trial and tenders the appropriate fee with this petition.
Reuters reports that on August 1, attorneys for Alex Jones argued that the defamation lawsuit should be thrown out. Attorney Mark Enoch defended his client, stating in part: “Maybe it’s fringe speech. Maybe it’s dangerous speech, but it is not defamation.”
According to The New York Times, Jones was attempting to use the Texas Citizens Participation Act “which protects citizens’ right to free speech against plaintiffs who aim to silence them through costly litigation” to invalidate the defamation lawsuit.
On Thursday, however, Judge Scott Jenkins ruled against Jones, meaning that the lawsuit can move forward.
CNN Money reports that the court filing stated: “After considering the arguments of counsel and the record, including plaintiffs’ declarations filed on August 2, the court orders that defendants’ motion is in all respects denied.”
As of publication, Jones has two other lawsuits hanging over his head related to Sandy Hook.