The host of Infowars and peddler of conservative conspiracy theories is doubling down on one of the most harmful of his fabrications: the notion that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting is a hoax. Responding to a defamation lawsuit filed by parents of the child victims, Alex Jones' lawyer is demanding Sandy Hook parents' addresses be provided in public court documents.
For years, Jones has claimed that the Sandy Hook shooting, which killed 20 small children and six adults, was a government hoax designed to push stricter gun legislation. "Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured," he said in a broadcast in 2015. Jones' follower base numbers in the millions, and many latched on to his message, taking it upon themselves to target parents who lost a child in the shooting.
In April, Lenny Pozner and two other parents who experienced severe harassment from Jones' huge follower base filed two defamation lawsuits against him in Texas. According to court documents obtained by HuffPost, each lawsuit seeks over $1 million in damages from Jones, and his show InfoWars.
Pozner, one of the parents who sued Jones, told NY Mag in 2016 about internet trolls who assailed him with false accusations about the death of his son, Noah, in the shooting. "F*ck you Lenny f*ck off and f*ck your fake family, you piec [sic] of sh*t," one Facebook user wrote. Another demanded that Pozner exhume his son's body to prove the shooting had in fact occurred.
"Due to Mr. Jones’ broadcast, I have ... suffered severe emotional distress and trauma which I cannot even begin to adequately describe," Pozner said in his court declaration. "No human being should ever be asked to suffer through the torment Mr. Jones carried out."
Apparently, Jones' lawyer Mark Enoch is demanding that the parents' court declarations be thrown out unless they provide their home addresses and birth dates. "The declarations filed by Plaintiffs are neither affidavits nor are they proper declarations," he wrote, according to HuffPost, citing a Texas law that requires plaintiffs to submit their personal information.
A lawyer for the parents, Mark Bankston, filed a number of legal opinions and cases to argue against Enoch, and demanded Enoch withdraw his objection. "There are obvious reasons why these Plaintiffs are extraordinarily hesitant about filing public documents containing their personal information, such as their address or date of birth, and they will not publish that information absent a legal obligation to do so," Bankston wrote in his filing, according to HuffPost. "Information such as date of birth, addresses, etc., have been used in the past by InfoWars followers to locate and harass the Plaintiffs."
Bankston also seemed to think Enoch's objection was simply a scare tactic. “They’re using an old, outdated law to intimidate these people and it’s just sick,” he said.
Currently, Jones is the subject of multiple other defamation lawsuits, including some from other Sandy Hook parents and first responders. Neil Heslin, who lost his son Jesse in the shooting, wrote an op-ed for NBC demanding that Jones stop preying on his followers' willingness to believe false narratives.
"The fact that he's profiting off of these tragedies and our losses, it makes the lies even worse," he wrote. "It feels like his business model is to make a stupid statement and win a stupid prize. My lawsuit has nothing to do with a political agenda: It's simply about his wrongdoing and the false statements he's made."