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Alex Jones Files for Second Bankruptcy: This Time, It's Personal

The wild conspiracist’s company had previously filed chapter 11 bankruptcy, but now Jones is facing over $1 billion in damages from two defamation lawsuits.

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Alex jones silhouetted rubs his temple and glistens with sweat.
Alex Jones ranted outside a Connecticut courtroom this past October after being told he would need to pay nearly $1 billion in damages to the parents of victims from the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Photo: Joe Buglewicz (Getty Images)

Alex Jones, the main face of the conspiracy flinging and hate spewing Info Wars, has all the charisma of a trash fire. Just like an enormous pile of burning garbage, Jones is certainly hard to ignore, even as the rank perfumes pervade the air. As many people shut their windows at the sight and smell, a fair few people still congregate around the flames, as if dangerous conspiracies and outright racism and homophobia are a shining piece of ambergris. Now, Jones is doing his damndest to stave off the fire brigade as they try to put out his horrible flame.

On Thursday, Alex Jones declared chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to documents filed in Texas’ southern district bankruptcy court. This is different from his previous bankruptcy filings for his company Free Speech Systems, the umbrella entity that owns Info Wars and Jones’ other brands. This is personal chapter 11 bankruptcy, which may be Jones’ attempt to give himself some space to maneuver after he was ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to the families of victims from the Sandy Hook massacre.

That $1 billion from a Connecticut lawsuit was on top of another $45.2 million in damages he was ordered to pay from a similar suit filed in Texas, where his company is based. Both defamation lawsuits charged Jones with routinely spreading conspiracies about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that claimed the lives of 26 people, mostly young children. Jones had claimed the murdered children had been crisis actors and that the entire scene was a “false flag” operation to make a case against the gun industry.

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The bankruptcy documents show that Jones has between 50 and 99 creditors. His assets are somewhere in the $1 to $10 million range, and has liabilities in that same range. Previously reporting from The New York Times has noted Jones had been granting himself a $6 million a year salary, according to court filings. That’s out of $53.2 million in recorded annual revenue for Info Wars between September 2015 and December 2018. Of course, that was before all these lawsuits targeted him personally for his role in anguishing and exacerbating the pain of parents whose children were murdered.

According to the court documents, Jones is being represented by Vickie Driver of the Dallas, Texas-based Crowe & Dunlevy. Gizmodo reached out to the attorney but we did not immediately hear back.

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Jones’ biggest creditors are indeed parents of the Sandy Hook victims. He owes Robert Parker $120 million. Parker’s daughter had been killed in the 2012 shooting, and during the trial he told the jury he had to move across the country just to avoid threats and harassment from Info Wars fans. He has disputed all of these creditors, according to the filings, including a $150,000 charge from American Express.

In an email statement provided to Gizmodo, Chris Mattei—who is representing some of the Sandy Hook families who sued Jones— said: “Like every other cowardly move Alex Jones has made, this bankruptcy will not work. The bankruptcy system does not protect anyone who engages in intentional and egregious attacks on others, as Mr. Jones did. The American judicial system will hold Alex Jones accountable, and we will never stop working to enforce the jury’s verdict.”

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But now that Jones is liable for over $1 billion in damages from the two entities, Jones needs to find ways to stymie the collection process. Attorneys for the parents in Connecticut court accused Jones of using this tactic before, saying he had been attempting to use his bankruptcy to push back a final decision on the defamation case. Of course, that didn’t work for long, as a Connecticut judge denied Jones’ attempt to move the defamation trial to a federal bankruptcy court.

As far as his company’s chapter 11 is going, a Texas judge said he had concerns with how much money Jones had been spending during the whole process. In September, a Houston judge ordered new faces to oversee the InfoWars bankruptcy proceedings, dismissing Jones’ attorney and chief restructuring officer in favor of a federally-appointed trustee.

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Despite the damages looming over his head, Jones has kept up his show, even dragging Ye, the artist previously known as Kanye West, onto the air to let the fallen artist rave and spew antisemitism to Jones’ audience. For what may be the first time, Jones was actually taken aback by how much anti-Jewish hate Ye let dribble from his masked face.

Update 12/02/22 at 12:25 p.m. ET: This post has been updated to include a comment from Chris Mattei, who is representing Sandy Hook families.