Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will have to pay between $25,000 and $50,000 in fines each weekday beginning Friday, until he attends an overdue deposition in preparation for a trial to determine how much he must pay in damages over his claims that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled Wednesday, just hours after plaintiffs rejected a settlement offer from Jones.
Bellis said Jones would be held in content after skipping his March 23 and 24 deposition dates, which Jones claimed he did on doctor’s orders to protect his own health—though it later emerged that the doctor advising Jones was Dr. Benjamin Marblea conspiracy theorist who called Covid-19 vaccines “poison” on Jones’s InfoWars show, the Independent reported.
Bellis said that the deposition would now take place at the office of plaintiffs’ lawyers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, rather than in Texas, where Jones resides and the InfoWars organization is based, the Associated Press reported,
Just hours before the hearing, Jones offered to settle with the plaintiffs—relatives of eight children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting and one FBI agent who responded to the incident, who claim to have been harassed and threatened as a result of Jones’s hoax claims— for $120,000 per plaintiff and offered a “heartfelt apology,” a proposal that was quickly shot down,
Bellis said that, despite Jones’s alleged bad-faith violations of court orders, his contempt citation would be reversed if he attended a two-day deposition by April 15, Reuters reported,
Jones wrote in a statement Wednesday that he believed the case was more about freedom of speech than about the Sandy Hook shooting, minimizing InfoWars’s coverage of the event and complaining that he was targeted by “ambitious lawyers” and “those who hate dissent” despite wishing to resolve the case promptly.
A representative for Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes,