In an angry outburst, conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones said “he’s done being sorry” as he took the stand Thursday during his second defamation trial for saying the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.
“Is this a struggle session? Are we in China?” he exclaimed during his testimony after being reminded of those who were murdered and shown a clip of Robbie Parker at a press conference the day after his daughter Emilie died in the 2012 mass shooting.
“I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying I'm sorry,” Jones said.
Several of the victims’ families were sitting in the courtroom Thursday, many crying during parts of the testimony.
A defiant Jones said he believed Sandy Hook was a hoax when he spread his lies. "I legitimately thought it might have been staged and I stand by that. I don’t apologize for it.”
He also referred to the families’ lawyer as being a part of “liberals” who “killed Iraqis” and can “switch emotions on and off when you want.”
Jones is on trial in Waterbury, Connecticut, about 20 miles from Newtown, where the shooting took place. A jury is being asked to decide how much he should pay in damages to the families of eight Sandy Hook shooting victims and an FBI agent who responded to the attack, all of whom say his lies about the shooting led to emotional distress and harassment by people who believed his lies.
Twenty children and six educators were killed after a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and opened fire on Dec. 14, 2012.
The first day of Jones’ testimony started off on an expectedly contentious tone as the host made inflammatory comments about the trial on his way into the courthouse.
“This is not really a trial,” he said. “This is a show trial, a literal kangaroo court.”
Jones was asked about similar remarks he made on his show over the last week. On his show, Jones called Judge Barbara Bellis a “tyrant” and created a webpage online called “kangaroo court” where viewers can watch the trial. Jones admitted that the remarks and page were on his website but said that they were created by his staff.
Bellis had already issued a default judgment of liability against Jones in the defamation lawsuit filed years ago because he did not comply with the court’s order to turn over records ahead of trial.
Jones admitted on the stand that for years he repeated false stories on his radio and online show that the Sandy Hook shooting was “synthetic” and a “fake,” and that the families of the victims were “actors.”
Plaintiff’s attorney Christopher Mattei called Jones to testify in the case but before he took the stand Bellis barred the host from talking about nine topics during his testimony which included the First Amendment, his bankruptcy case, or his Texas trial.
In a separate civil trial last month, a Texas jury ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million in damages to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, was killed in the attack.
Thursday’s trial produced several contentious moments in which Jones’ attorney objected, requiring the jury to exit the courtroom several times to resolve legal matters between the attorneys.
During his testimony, Jones commended his followers for putting Infowars stickers on street signs and businesses outside the Connecticut courthouse, which Mattei referred to as “vandalism.”
Jones said in his testimony that $8 million of donations made on the Infowars cryptopage were deposited directly into his personal account.
“When that happens, you have full and sole access to those assets?” asked Mattei. “Yes,” Jones answered, but he later said he then transfers those funds to the company accounts.
Jones told jurors that his company takes a cut of sales from the products because, “we’re fighting the deep state, we need money”
Jones said “crushing globalists” was more important to him than his reputation and credibility.
The host also doubled down on previous theories that the plaintiff’s attorney planted child pornography in the emails sent from Jones to them. That matter was the subject of a lawsuit Jones filed himself in 2019 against the Young Turks, a left-leaning online show that accused Jones of sending child pornography.
Jones admitted that it was upsetting to him that the outlet “spread lies” about him.
Jones will continue a second day of testimony on Friday, when he is expected to be questioned by his attorneys.