During a contentious cross-examination, Infowars host Alex Jones’ claim that he was sucked into lying about the Sandy Hook shooting was undercut and he conceded that the massacre was “100% real.”
Jones, who has repeatedly suggested that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, said Wednesday that he was “baited” several times into speaking about the incident and tried to correct himself and apologize to the victims, but his words were twisted by what he called “corporate media.” He said he now believes the attack happened.
“Especially since I’ve met the parents,” he said Wednesday. “It’s 100% real.”
The conspiracy theorist, whose trial is being held in Austin where his media company is based, said he has been “caught in this situation where I’ve been basically typecast as someone that runs around talking about Sandy Hook, who made money off Sandy Hook, who was obsessed with Sandy Hook when it was less than 1/10 percent, over those six years, of what we covered.”
“It was frustrating then,” Jones said of the years following the Sandy Hook shooting. “It’s infinitely now.”
Jones is being sued by Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was among the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Lewis and Heslin, both of whom testified Tuesday, have asked that Jones pay $150 million for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They are among several Sandy Hook families that have filed lawsuits against Jones arguing that his statements that the attack was a hoax have led to years of abuse from his followers.
Jones has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights.
During cross examination Wednesday, an attorney for Heslin and Lewis quickly tried to establish a pattern of Jones calling other mass shootings “false flags,” including at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 and a concert in Las Vegas the year before.
The attorney, Mark Bankston, also poked holes in previous testimony from Jones about a number of things, including Jones’ assertions that he complied with discovery, that he did not have text messages about Sandy Hook on his phone, that he had not mentioned the shooting on the show for more than a year after July 2015, that he does not use e-mail and that his media company is in financial trouble.
“Do you know what perjury is?” Bankston asked during one exchange.
Jones is his defense team’s only witness. Closing arguments in the case are expected Wednesday afternoon.