Controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Free Speech Systems, the parent company of his fringe right-wing website “Infowars”, must pay $100,000 in his adversary’s legal expenses as a penalty stemming from a defamation suit brought against them.
Neil Heslin, the father of a 6-year-old who was killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, sued Jones and Infowars in April 2018 for making allegedly defamatory statements against him and other victims’ families.
According to the lawsuit, Jones “repeatedly and unequivocally called the Sandy Hook shooting a hoax.” Earlier this month, Texas judge Scott Jenkins granted Heslin’s motion for sanctions and legal expenses after the defendants disobeyed a court order to provide a witness list and documentation, and ordered the defendants to pay Heslin’s legal fees, in the amount of $65,825.
Then in a separate decision, Jenkins ruled against the defendants’ motion to dismiss and ordered them to pay Heslin an additional $34,323.80 in legal fees.
According to CNN Business, Heslin’s attorney, Mark Bankston said in an email, “Mr. Jones is learning there are severe consequences for his refusal to take these lawsuits seriously.”