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Alex Jones to pay $45 million to Sandy Hook parents: What you need to know about the trial

One day after the first damages were levied Jones has been hit with a figure ten times as large as the defamation trial draws to a close.

Update:
One day after the first damages were levied Jones has been hit with a figure ten times as large as the defamation trial draws to a close.
POOLREUTERS

Alex Jones has been ordered by a Texas jury to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the family of Jesse Lewis, one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre. Jones had claimed the mass shooting, in which 26 people were shot dead, a hoax and that the victims did not exist.

Punitive damages are put in place to deter further action compared to compensation payments that are levied based upon the seriousness of the defamation.

The new damage payment comes one day after Jones was ordered to pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages. That brings the total damages to nearly $50 million.

While this figure would be a staggering amount of money for many, Jones’ assets suggest he is in a position to pay the damages. While his personal wealth is thought to be around $5 million, a network of shell companies and loan taking is thought to mask his true wealth.

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How can he pay it?

One the final day of the trial a financial expert, named Bernard Pettingill, testified on behalf of the parents of Jesse Lewis in a bid to ascertain Alex Jones’ true worth. He estimated that Jones’ personal worth was between $70 million and $140 million.

This is a result of Jones and his companies making more than $50 million a year between 2016 and 2021 due to his immense following. Loans were taken out in an attempt to hide his true wealth.

“We can’t put a finger on what he does for a living,” Pettingill said of Jones’s ability to capitalize on unhinged, baseless conspiracy theories. “He didn’t ride a wave – he created a wave.”

Pettingill told the court that Jones took out $69 million from Free Speech Systems accounts, the parent company of his show InfoWars, the year the defamation proceedings were ruled they could continue. Last week, Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy. This could offer legal protection for his money from the defamation case.

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