Reposted with permission from The Hill
The parents of two children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have sued Alex Jones, alleging defamation.
The two lawsuits filed Monday accuse Jones — a noted conspiracy theorist who has claimed the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax — of peddling lies that have resulted in death threats, HuffPost reported.
The lawsuits, which were both filed in Austin, Texas, are seeking more than $1 million in damages from Jones, InfoWars and Free Speech Systems LLC.
The lawsuits were brought by Neil Heslin, the father of a six-year-old boy killed in the shooting, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, who child was also killed.
“Even after these folks had to experience this trauma, for the next five years they were tormented by Alex Jones with vicious lies about them,” Mark Bankston, the lawyer handling the cases for the parents, told HuffPost.
“And these lies were meant to convince his audience that the Sandy Hook parents are frauds and have perpetrated a sinister lie on the American people.”
Bankston said he thinks it is a “surreal experience” as a father.
“Anyone, parents or not, who spends 15 minutes talking to one of these parents will understand immediately how vile this lie was, and how genuine their pain is,” he told the publication.
There are at least two other cases that accuse Jones of defamation, according to the report.
Jones has in the past raised conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting, which left more than 20 people dead. He said in November 2016, “The only problem is, I’ve watched a lot of soap operas, and I’ve seen actors before. And I know when I’m watching a movie and when I’m watching something real.”
Gun control has become a central issue in the country recently since a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Fla.
Students who survived the February shooting have been rallying lawmakers and demanding new gun laws to prevent future shootings.
Students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland have also been at the center of multiple conspiracy theories since becoming vocal gun control advocates.