AUSTIN, Texas — Infowars has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as website founder Alex Jones faces defamation lawsuits over his comments that the Sandy Elementary School shooting Hook was a hoax.
Texas’ Sunday filing for bankruptcy suspends civil lawsuits while the company reorganizes its finances. The filing came a week before a jury in Texas is to begin considering how much money Jones, who has already lost defamation suits, should pay the families of Sandy Hook victims.
In its court filing, Infowars said it had estimated assets of $50,000 or less and estimated liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million. Creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing include relatives of some of the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 school massacre in Connecticut.
Plaintiffs in that case say they were harassed and threatened with death by Jones supporters because he encouraged the hoax plot that the crisis actors staged the shooting in a government effort to remove the guns from fire and restrict firearms.
Jones has since acknowledged that the shooting did take place.
“Alex Jones is only delaying the inevitable: a public trial in which he will be held accountable for his for-profit campaign of lies against the Sandy Hook families who filed this lawsuit,” said Christopher Mattei, who represents the families in a Connecticut. lawsuit against Jones.
A lawyer for Jones did not return a message seeking comment. Jones told his Infowars listeners on Monday that he was “totally exhausted” and urged them to contribute money and buy nutritional supplements from his website to keep him on the air.
“It’s time people could see that I don’t have $5 million. I don’t have $3 million. We have less than $3 million in cash and we need that money to buy future products to be able to work,” says Jones.
Jones was fined $75,000 last month for failing to appear for deposition in a defamation case, but a judge last week ordered the money returned because Jones eventually present.
Another new lawsuit accuses Jones of hiding millions of dollars in assets, but a lawyer for Jones called the allegation “ridiculous.”
Neil Heslin – whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis died in the Newtown school shooting – said he was not immediately sure how bankruptcy would affect his libel suit against Jones in Texas, where a lawsuit on how much money Jones should pay in damages is expected to begin next week.
“It is what it is,” Heslin said. “We’ll see where it all leads. He tried everything to avoid everything.”
This isn’t the first time a bankruptcy filing has affected a lawsuit brought by the Sandy Hook families.
While suing gunmaker Remington, which made the AR-15-style rifle used in the school shooting, the company has twice filed for bankruptcy. In the second case filed in 2020, Remington’s assets were ultimately sold to other companies.
The 2020 bankruptcy delayed proceedings by a year in the Connecticut lawsuit, which was seeking damages from Remington for the way it marketed its guns. In February, the families of nine school shooting victims announced they had agreed to settle the case for $73 million.