Alex Jones, InfoWars Sued For Defamation Over Charlottesville Claims
InfoWars leader Alex Jones has been sued by Brennan Gilmore, a foreign service officer at the State Department who recorded events at the Charlottesville, Virginia 'Unite the Right' rally last year -- including footage of the moment James Alex Fields, Jr. plowed his car into a crowd, resulting in the death of Heather Heyer.
Gilmore claims Jones promoted conspiracy theories that billed him as a member of the government's "deep state", among other "false and defamatory" statements.
The lawsuit, filed by Georgetown University law school's civil rights clinic on behalf of Gilmore in Virginia district court, alleges the defendants “caused irreparable damage” to Gilmore’s reputation “and threatened his physical and emotional well-being.” The group seeks compensation and punitive damages from Jones and other defendants.
“From Sandy Hook to ‘Pizzagate’ to Charlottesville, Las Vegas and now Parkland, the defendants thrive by inciting devastating real-world consequences with the propaganda and lies they publish as ‘news,’” Gilmore said in a statement. “Today, I’m asking a court to hold them responsible for the personal and professional damage their lies have caused me, and, more importantly, to deter them from repeating this dangerous pattern of defamation and intimidation.”
The lawsuit also names Free Speech System, which operates Jones' website, InfoWars contributors Lee Ann McAdoo and Lee Stranah, and several other right-wing media personalities.
“The First Amendment does not and cannot protect deliberate lies designed to incite incessant harassment and violence against private citizens,” Andrew Mendrala, supervising attorney of the civil rights clinic, said in a statement. “This case is a simple defense of democracy. A well-informed public is essential to a healthy democracy. But a deliberately misinformed public is fatal to it.”