The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay $965 million to the families of eight Sandy Hook shooting victims and an FBI agent who responded to the attack for the suffering he caused them by spreading lies on his platforms about the 2012 massacre, a Connecticut jury found on Wednesday.
Jones faced liability for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of the state Unfair Trade Practices Act, for creating a fake narrative that the mass shooting was a hoax. The families claimed Jones profited off the lies while they were harassed and abused by those who believed him.
The jury made 15 individual awards that ranged from $28.8 million to $120 million. The families and agent also received separate punitive damages.
Several family members of the victims wept as they heard the jury’s decision in the courtroom. Jones, who was not in court, appeared on his online show as the jury’s decision was read, laughing and mocking the amounts being awarded.
He urged his audience to donate money to his company and buy products from its store to “fight this fraud” and “save Infowars” and suggested that he did not intend to pay.
“Ain’t going to be happening. Ain’t no money,” he said on his show Wednesday.
Jones’ lawyer has vowed to appeal the decision.