Conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones begged his viewers to donate to him on Thursday after he was ordered to pay more than $4 million to the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, which he once claimed was a hoax, as an economist testifies in court that he and his company are worth $270 million.
In a video posted Thursday to Infowars.com, Jones said the amount he’s ordered to pay is ‘more than my company has [and] more than I personally have,’ claiming ‘we are so broke.’
Jones told viewers it’s their responsibility to keep him and his company afloat, saying in the video, ‘if you don’t fund us… we will shut down’ and telling them ‘it’s your decision’ whether Infowars shuts down.
He added the company ‘can barely keep the crew employed’ due to their financial issues, but his website was found to have made over $800,000 a day during their peak in 2017, though Jones called that their best day ever.
But Bernard Pettingill, an economist who was hired by the plaintiffs to study Jones’ net worth, testified Friday that Jones is worth up to $270 million. He said records show that Jones withdrew $62 million for himself in 2021, when default judgments were issued in lawsuits against him.
‘That number represents, in my opinion, a value of a net worth,’ Pettingill said. ‘He’s got money put in a bank account somewhere.’
The money that flows into Jones’ companies eventually funnels its way to him, said Pettingill, who added that he has testified in approximately 1,500 cases during his career.
‘He is a very successful man,’ Pettingill said, calling Jones a ‘maverick’ and ‘revolutionary’ for finding ways to monetize his online messaging.
However, multiple bankruptcy filings revealed that Jones has profited approximately $22 million over the past 17 months and received $9 million in cryptocurrency donations.
Jones may still owe even more money, as the punitive damages phase of the trial begins today. He also has other defamation lawsuits pending against him.
During the trial, Jones’ main company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy as a small business in an attempt to protect Jones and the company from oversight that would occur if they filed as a bigger corporation.
Jones admitted during the trial and to the victims’ families that he was wrong to call the mass shooting a hoax and admitted it did, in fact, happen, a sentiment he reiterated in the video.
‘I admitted I was wrong; I admitted that I made a mistake,’ Jones said as he pleaded for help. ‘What I did to those families was wrong, but I didn’t do it on purpose.’
The bleak video comes as Jones’ ex-wife, Kelly Nichols, said the controversial media figure is ‘mentally ill’ and needs to be ‘protected from himself and others.’
‘He doesn’t have any moral compass. He lives in his own universe. He’s a very delusional man,’ she added in an interview with Inside Edition.
Jones was ordered on Thursday to pay $4.1 million to the parents of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis after claiming the massacre was a hoax and that he couldn’t pay anything over $2 million.
‘At the end of the day, I don’t have all these millions of dollars they claim I have, so I’m at peace,’ Jones said in the video.
But his ex-wife says otherwise: ‘I know he had hidden money. I think he’s got a lot of buckets under many shells.’
The parents sought at least $150 million dollars in compensation for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress for all the damage and harm his lies have caused them over the span of a decade.
Jones’ attorney asked the jury to limit damages to $8 — one dollar for each of the compensation charges they are considering — and Jones himself said during the trial that any award over $2 million ‘would sink us.’
In a dramatic courtroom revelation, the plaintiff’s attorney, Mark Bankston, told the court on Wednesday that Jones’ attorney sent him the last two years’ worth of texts from Jones’ cell phone.
‘Did you know 12 days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years?’ Bankston asked during cross-examination.
Jones had previously testified that he could not find any messages regarding the school massacre and was shocked when one was shown on screen to the court.
The broadcaster, noticeably horrified and embarrassed by the trove of text messages presented during court, slammed his lead attorney, Andino Reynal, saying he ‘should have gotten up at that point’ in trial and demanded to see specific evidence of the alleged perjury.
‘I’m not attacking; it’s just a fact,’ Jones argued on his show. ‘It’s so incredibly sick that I sit there and give the damn lawyers all the text messages, and then they send it to Connecticut.
He argued Reynal should’ve interjected during Bankston’s cross-examination and demanded the attorney ‘show us the deposition’ where Jones allegedly committed perjury.
‘Bankston has deposed me, is it three or is it four times?’ he said. ‘I’ve been deposed four times by Connecticut, but I never talked to them, so I’ve defaulted.’
‘They’ve got all this stuff, and I did search one of my phones, and it didn’t have Sandy Hook stuff in it.’
He recalled his counsel saying the plaintiff’s legal team accused him of hiding messages, so he handed over all his old devices to his attorneys and instructed them to ‘search it and give it to the damn lawyers.’
ones said he gave handed over the evidence ‘because I wasn’t talking about Sandy Hook, I don’t care about Sandy Hook.’
‘We don’t cover it other than when they force us to,’ he explained, adding that the mishap should never have occurred in the first place.
‘I then I’m sitting there, the final witness in a trial where I am already found guilty by the judge for not giving stuff over, and my lawyers give them the raw text messages of six months from 2019, early 2020.
‘That’s the reality, and then I see a text message from Paul Watson saying, ‘this story sounds like Sandy Hook bull.’ A story about COVID. How is that even pertinent? How is that lying about something?’
Reynal asked Judge Maya Guerra Gamble to declare a mistrial over the mistaken transfer of records and said they should have been returned and any copies destroyed. She rejected the request.
Bankston said his team followed Texas’ civil rules of evidence and that Jones’ attorneys missed their chance to request the records return properly.
‘Mr. Reynal is using a fig leaf (to cover) for his own malpractice,’ Bankston said.
He said the records mistakenly sent to him included some medical records of plaintiffs in other lawsuits against Jones.