Entertainment People Alex Jones’ Infowars files for bankruptcy
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Alex Jones’ Infowars files for bankruptcy

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US right-wing group Infowars has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the website’s founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones faces defamation lawsuits over his comments that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

The bankruptcy filing on Sunday (US time) in Texas puts civil litigation on hold while the business reorganises its finances.

The filing came a week before a jury in Texas was set to begin considering how much money Jones, who has already lost the defamation lawsuits, should pay the families of Sandy Hook victims.

In its court filing, Infowars said it had estimated assets of $US50,000 ($A68,070) or less and estimated liabilities of $US1 million ($A1.4 million) to $US10 million ($A14 million).

Creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing include relatives of some of the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 school massacre in Connecticut.

The plaintiffs in that case have said they were subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because he promoted the hoax conspiracy that crisis actors faked the shooting in an effort by the government to take away guns and restrict firearms.

Jones has since conceded that the shooting did happen.

“Alex Jones is just delaying the inevitable: A public trial in which he will be held accountable for his profit-driven campaign of lies against the Sandy Hook families who have brought this lawsuit,” said Christopher Mattei, who represents the families in a Connecticut lawsuit against Jones.

A lawyer for Jones has not returned a message seeking comment. Jones told his Infowars listeners on Monday that he was “totally maxed out” and urged them to contribute money and buy nutritional supplements on his website to keep him on the air.

“It’s time for people to be able to see that I don’t have $5 million. I don’t have $3 million. We have less than $3 million cash and we need that money to buy future product to be able to operate,” Jones said.

Last month, Jones was fined $US75,000 ($A102,100) for failing to appear for a deposition in a defamation case but a judge last week ordered the return of the money because Jones eventually showed up.

Another new lawsuit accuses Jones of hiding millions of dollars in assets, but one of his lawyers has called that allegation “ridiculous”.

It is not the first time a bankruptcy filing has affected a lawsuit filed by the Sandy Hook families. While suing gun maker Remington, which manufactured the AR-15-style rifle used in the school shooting, the company filed for bankruptcy twice.

In the second case filed in 2020, Remington’s assets were eventually sold off to other companies.

The 2020 bankruptcy delayed proceedings for a year in the Connecticut lawsuit, which sought damages against Remington for how it marketed its rifles. In February, the families of nine victims of the school shooting announced they had agreed to settle the case for $US73 million ($A99 million).

-AAP