Alex Jones delays new podcast, accused of trying to squirm out of paying Sandy Hook families

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Radio host Alex Jones walks on the corridors of Capitol Hill after listen Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on 'Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms' on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in Washington. Jose Luis Magana/AP

Alex Jones delays new podcast, accused of trying to squirm out of paying Sandy Hook families

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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has made a “solemn promise” to stop posting more episodes of his new subscription-based podcast following concerns he could use the show to spread disinformation and liquidate his bankrupt business that owes the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre $1.5 billion in settlement money. 

Jones’s lawyer Vickie Driver said at a hearing Tuesday at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas that her client had promised to stop creating new content on his Alex Jones Live podcast and that the podcast was a “test” and not a scheme to get out of paying his court-ordered fines.

ALEX JONES ORDERED TO PAY UPWARD OF $965 MILLION TO FAMILIES OF SANDY HOOK VICTIMS IN DEFAMATION TRIAL

“Just because someone is making alternative plans to support their family does not necessarily mean that they’re abandoning ship,” Driver said. “It’s just that I think any prudent person would think about how they would take care of their family or make a living if they weren’t going to be able to do so at their current place of work.”

Sandy Hook victim families raised their concerns in a court filing on Monday, Bloomberg Law reported. They believe Jones is trying to game the legal system by transitioning to his new podcast to get out of paying. The Sandy Hook parents claimed Jones’s podcast spewed the same rhetoric as his old show but is taped in a new studio space and under a brand not affiliated with InfoWars or its parent company, Free Speech Systems, which Jones also owns.

Jones recently said on his show that he planned to spend less time at InfoWars, his far-right conspiracy theory website that operates under FSS.

FSS filed for bankruptcy in July. Jones filed for personal bankruptcy in December, claiming he could only afford to pay less than 1% of the Sandy Hook judgments against him and his company.

An FSS attorney said Tuesday that the business is preparing a bankruptcy plan to pay off the Sandy Hook claims with a portion of the business’s net income over time. The Sandy Hook families said that by Jones claiming he would spend less time on InfoWars and spend more time on the podcast, it would put the ability of Free Speech Systems to pay the families in jeopardy. They have accused Jones of trying to use the legal system and bankruptcy laws to get out of paying what is owed to them.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez also said at Tuesday’s hearing that he would consider a request by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose 6-year-old son Noah died in the Connecticut shooting. Because Jones and his company are bankrupt, lawsuits against them cannot proceed without a bankruptcy judge signing off on them. Lopez said he would hear their arguments on March 24, Reuters reported.

Jones claimed for years that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was a hoax and the victims were child actors. In October, a Connecticut jury awarded the victims’ families $965 million in compensatory damages, while the judge added another $473 million in punitive damages. In 2022, a Texas jury also awarded the parents of a child killed in the shooting $49 million in damages.

In December, Jones filed for personal bankruptcy protection, citing in court records the $1.5 billion he had been ordered to pay the families. On his InfoWars broadcast, he claimed he was broke and asked viewers to shop on his website to keep his show on the air. The site features products such as “Super Male Vitality” drops for $52.45, “Ultimate Bone Broth Plus Formula” for $37.45, and “Prebiotic fiber” for $23.95. 

Jones got his start in broadcasting in the 1990s in Austin, Texas. His conspiracy theories about the Branch Davidian compound in Waco and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City got him booted off a local radio station. In 1999, he founded InfoWars, which started small but morphed into a place for him and his guests to rattle on, often without any evidence, about conspiracy theories.

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He has called himself a “truther” and went on to claim the Bush administration was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was staged by the FBI, and the 2011 shooting of former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords was a government mind control operation. Six people, including a 9-year-old girl, were killed in the attack, and 12 others were injured. 

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