Six families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting, and an FBI agent filed a defamation lawsuit against radio host Alex Jones, and the financial network that supports him.
In addition to Jones and the network, the defamation lawsuit was also filed against Jones’s frequent guest Wolfgang Halbig, and Halbig’s associate, Cory Sklanka, a Meriden man, whom the lawsuit said would work with Halbig when he'd come to CT to investigate Sandy Hook.
The lawsuit was filed by six families of victims killed in the shooting, along with an FBI agent who responded to the tragic scene on Dec. 14, 2012.
On that day, 20 first-grade students were gunned down inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. Six educators were also murdered.
According to a press release, the lawsuit outlines “a years-long campaign of abusive and outrageous false statements in which Jones and the other defendants have developed, amplified and perpetuated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and that the 26 families who lost loved ones that day are paid actors who faked their relatives’ deaths.”
In the lawsuit, the families say they've had to put up with years of harassment and abuse from people claiming the shooting was a hoax. They're blaming Jones and his 'Infowars' show, saying he's a big reason for this.
“Sandy Hook is synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured. I couldn’t believe it at first," Alex Jones is heard saying in one of his radio broadcasts.
The lawsuit accuses Jones and the others of invasion of privacy, defamation, along with intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Last summer, Jones said on his show that he tends to believe it happened, but said people had the right to question it.
The plaintiffs said they’ve had to undergo a “campaign of abuse,” and that Jones knows the truth, but keeps questioning it for one simple reason: to make money.
“While the nation recoiled at the terrible reality of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Alex Jones saw an opportunity,” said the families’ attorney, Josh Koskoff. “He went on a sustained attack that has lasted for years, accusing shattered family members of being actors, stating as fact that the shooting itself was a hoax and inciting others to act on these malicious lies. He knew his claims were false but he made them anyway to further a simple but pathetic goal: to make money by tearing away at the families’ pain. This lawsuit seeks to hold Alex Jones and his financial network accountable for those disgraceful actions.”
The plaintiffs in this case are the parents of four children killed: Jacqueline and Mark Barden, parents of Daniel; Nicole and Ian Hockley, parents of Dylan; Francine and David Wheeler, parents of Ben; and Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, parents of Avielle, as well as Donna Soto, Carlee Soto-Parisi, Carlos M. Soto and Jillian Soto, the mother and three siblings (respectively) of first-grade teacher Victoria Leigh Soto and Erica Lafferty-Garbatini, the daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung. William (Bill) Aldenberg. An FBI agent and first responder to the scene is also a plaintiff.
Read the full lawsuit here.
This lawsuit is separate from another suit that was filed against Jones in April. Neil Heslin, the father of Jesse Lewis, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, the parents of Noah Pozner, filed separate defamation lawsuits against Jones in April seeking more than $1 million.
We'll have more on this story tonight on Eyewitness News starting at 5 p.m.
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