A defamation lawsuit has been filed against broadcaster Alex Jones, along with some of his associates, for saying the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was fake.
On Wednesday, families of four students and two educators who died, along with one FBI agent who responded to the shooting, filed the suit in a Connecticut court.
“Jones is the chief amplifier for a group that has worked in concert to create and propagate loathsome, false narratives about the Sandy Hook shooting and its victims, and promote their harassment and abuse,” the lawsuit states. There are also six companies named in the suit, including various entities related to Jones’ InfoWars website.
Twenty children and six adults were killed in the December 14, 2012, attack by 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
The legal complaint says Jones does not believe the shooting was a hoax, but nevertheless he has repeatedly accused Sandy Hook families of faking their family members’ deaths.
“The Jones defendants concoct elaborate and false paranoia-tinged conspiracy theories because it moves product and they make money,” the suit alleges. “Not because they truly believe what they are saying, but rather because it increases profits.”
Jones has denied the allegations. The other parties named in the suit did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
‘This is a modern Lexington’
The plaintiffs’ attorneys argue in the filing that a reasonable person would understand the defendants’ statements to mean the massacre was staged and the deaths were fabricated.
“We’ve clearly got people where it’s actors playing different parts of different people,” the suit quotes Jones as saying on March 14, 2014. “I’ve looked at it and undoubtedly there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying and they were pre-planning before it and rolled out with it.”
“The Alex Jones Show” is broadcast on more than 60 radio stations, and his YouTube channel has more than 2.3 million subscribers, according to the complaint.
Jones addressed the lawsuit on his InfoWars.com show on Wednesday.
“This is all out of context. … And it’s not even what I said or my intent,” he said. “I’m not going to get into the real defects of this, I’m going to wait until it’s thrown out with prejudice.”
Jones described the lawsuit as an attack on him and the First Amendment.
“This is the modern Lexington, this is the modern Concord. This is the modern fight where they’re coming to take it all,” he said. “This is defamation against me, it’s an information war. It’s a misrepresentation. … They can find lawyers every week to file disinformation. It says they’re desperate and they’re wild and it shows we’ve got to get past their intimidation.”
Others named in suit
Also named in the suit are two men who plaintiffs say worked on conspiracy videos that Jones showed.
Wolfgang Halbig created conspiracy videos, harassed family members and others in Newtown and ran websites about Sandy Hook, the complaint says, and Cory Sklanka helped him create the videos and run at least one of the websites.
“Children did not die, teachers did not die, on December 14, 2012,” Halbig said on one of Jones’ shows, according to the complaint.
“I mean it’s fake … it’s fake … you’ve got parents acting … it’s just the fakest thing since the three-dollar bill,” Jones said.
Halbig’s website has since been shut down, but included allegations that a father of one of the victims faked her death to “steal money from hard-working Americans,” and another couple lied about having a daughter to make money.
Genesis Communications, which distributes Jones’ radio show, and Midas Resources, which sells precious metals, dietary supplements and other items on the show, were also named in the suit.
This is not the first suit challenging Jones and InfoWars for comments about Sandy Hook. Three parents filed suit in a Texas court in April.