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Infowars host Alex Jones files for personal bankruptcy

Infowars founder Alex Jones (Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool, PA)
Infowars founder Alex Jones (Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool, PA)

Infowars host Alex Jones has filed for personal bankruptcy protection in Texas as he faces nearly 1.5 billion dollars (£1.2 billion) in damages over conspiracy theories he spread about the Sandy Hook school massacre.

Jones filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in bankruptcy court in Houston.

His filing lists one billion (£820 million) to 10 billion dollars in liabilities (£8.2 billion).

The bankruptcy filing comes as Jones faces court orders to pay nearly 1.5 billion dollars in damages to relatives of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut for calling the massacre a hoax.

A total of 26 people were killed by a gunman at the school in Newtown, 20 of them children.

In October, a Connecticut jury awarded the families 965 million dollars in compensatory damages (£792 million), and a judge later tacked on another 473 million dollars (£388 million) in punitive damages.

Earlier in the year, a Texas jury awarded the parents of a child killed in the shooting 49 million dollars (£40 million) in damages.

Jones has laughed at the awards on his Infowars show, saying he has less than two million dollars (£1.6 million) to his name and will not be able to pay such high amounts.

He asked viewers to shop on his website to help keep the show on the air.

“I’m officially out of money, personally,” Jones said. “It’s all going to be filed. It’s all going to be public. And you will see that Alex Jones has almost no cash.”

Jones said he would not be commenting further on the bankruptcy.

The comments contradicted the testimony of a forensic economist at the Texas trial, who said Jones and his company Free Speech Systems have a combined net worth as high as 270 million dollars (£221 million).

Free Speech Systems is also seeking bankruptcy protection.

In documents filed in Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy case in Texas, a budget for the company for October 29 to November 25 estimated product sales would total 2.5 million dollars (£2 million), while operating expenses would be about 740,000 dollars (£607,000). Jones’s salary was listed at 20,000 dollars (£16,400) every two weeks.

Chris Mattei, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families in the Connecticut case, criticised the bankruptcy filing on Friday.

“Like every other cowardly move Alex Jones has made, this bankruptcy will not work,” Mr Mattei said in a statement.

“The bankruptcy system does not protect anyone who engages in intentional and egregious attacks on others, as Mr Jones did.

“The American judicial system will hold Alex Jones accountable, and we will never stop working to enforce the jury’s verdict.”