How much is Alex Jones worth is the question on many people's lips, as the conspiracy theorist has been ordered to pay $965m in damages to the families of Sandy Hook victims.
Alex Jones is well known for his right-wing conspiracy theories, and made headlines in 2018 when he was removed from several social media platforms for the information he was circulating. His website, InfoWars, has made him millions, but his finances have been called into question following two trials that have seen him ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
The recent defamation trials are a result of his comments about the Sandy Hook school shooting - one of the deadliest school shootings in US history - in which the families seeking damages alleged that Alex Jones' misinformation led to a decade of harassment and death threats.
How much is Alex Jones worth?
During a previous defamation trial that took place in Texas back in August, a forensic economist testified that Alex Jones and his company are worth around $270m - though Jones has disputed that figure.
According to Bernard Pettingill Jr, the forensic economist, Jones' website InfoWars was bringing in more than $800,000 per day at its height in 2018, mostly due to advertising deals he had with doomsday preparation companies selling buckets of food and water purification tablets.
It was an emotional moment in a Connecticut court as a jury ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay nearly $1 billion in damages to families of the victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting, which he falsely claimed was staged https://t.co/ZeDzZso6Lt pic.twitter.com/B3bNEok80JOctober 13, 2022
However, Jones' income did fall later in 2018, after he was banned from Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify.
According to Vox, Spotify said Infowars "expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics," while Facebook said Jones' pages were removed for "glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies."
Apple said in a statement to BuzzFeed News, "Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users."
Who is Alex Jones?
Alex Jones is the founder of InfoWars, a far-right conspiracy theory website. He also hosts his own podcast, The Alex Jones Show.
Born in Texas, Jones has spent most of his life living in Austin, where he attended Anderson Highschool and graduated in 1993. He then began working in cable television, where he started to broadcast aboutthe New World Order conspiracy theory. When the federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed in 1995, Jones began accusing the government of being involved in the attack.
Jones landed his own show on KJFK, a local station, and tied with Shannon Burke in 1999 for The Austin Chronicle's readers' poll for Best Austin Talk Radio Host in 1999. However, he was fired from the station later that year by its new owners, after refusing to broaden his topics. It was later that same year that Jones set up his website, InfoWars.
What is InfoWars?
InfoWars is a popular website for fake news and conspiracy theories that according to Sky News racked up 10 million monthly visits in 2017.
The website features articles about the war in Ukraine, Covid vaccines and much more - interspersed with adverts for supplements.
The parent company of the site is Free Speech Systems LLC, and it is this company that has been sued by the parents of Sandy Hook victims.
What did Alex Jones do?
Alex Jones falsely claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, though he now acknowledges the attack was "100% real" - a concession he made in August at the previous defamation trial in Texas.
His comments about Sandy Hook have led to two defamation trials so far - and he faces a third trial that begins in Texas later this year - with his followers allegedly engaging in a years-long campaign of harassment and intimidation against the families of the victims.
In the previous trial, Jones was ordered to pay $49m in a case brought by two other Sandy Hook parents, but this figure is far outstripped by the recent trial, in which a six-person jury in Connecticut awarded damages of $965m to 15 family members of Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent.
This is not the first time that Alex Jones has found himself in legal trouble. According to Sky News, in 2018 he was served with a lawsuit over a car attack that killed anti-racist protester Heather Heyer at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. He was accused of claiming that the attack was actually staged by the CIA in order to undermine President Donald Trump.
A man who captured video of the Charlottesville car attack that killed Heather Heyer is suing Alex Jones and others for defamation, accusing them of pushing false conspiracy theories https://t.co/nOHo6z0a1q pic.twitter.com/rBJNZwuifKMarch 13, 2018
What did Alex Jones say about Sandy Hook?
Alex Jones said that Sandy Hook was "staged" and that it was part of a government plot to take Americans' guns away. He has also said that "no one died" and has admitted to calling the parents of the victims "crisis actors".
During the recent trial, emotional testimony from the families of Sandy Hook victims revealed that they had received online hate and death threats, and had to move homes repeatedly for their own safety.
Who is Alex Jones married to?
Alex Jones has been married to Erica Wulff Jones since 2017. She is the founder of New Order Yoga and the couple reportedly have one child together.
In 2021, Erica was arrested on domestic violence charges. Alex Jones told The Associated Press at the time “It's a private family matter that happened on Christmas Eve. I love my wife and care about her and it appears to be some kind of medication imbalance." Wulff was later released on Boxing Day.
Jones was previously married Kelly Rebecca Nichols from the years 2007 to 2015. She is an animal rights activist and the pair have three children together.
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Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.
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