Internet conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has admitted that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was “100% real” after previously claiming it was a hoax.
“Especially since I’ve met the parents. It’s 100% real,” the Infowars host told a court in Texas on Wednesday.
Jurors in the trial are hearing evidence to determine how much Jones and his media company Free Speech Systems owe for defaming Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis.
Their son was among the 20 students and six teachers killed in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut.
The pair are seeking as much as $150m (£123.4m). Closing arguments in the case were underway on Wednesday afternoon.
Mark Bankston, lawyer for the parents of six-year-old victim Jesse Lewis, accused Jones of approaching the trial in bad faith, citing broadcasts where he said the trial was rigged against him.
He showed a video of Jones saying in his broadcast on Friday that the jury pool was full of people who “don’t know what planet they’re on”.
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Judge Maya Guerra Gamble admonished Jones on Tuesday for not telling the truth under oath after he falsely told the jury he was bankrupt and had complied with discovery in the case.
“It seems absurd to instruct you again that you must tell the truth while you testify,” she said. “Yet here I am.”
Mr Heslin testified on Tuesday that the falsehoods Jones spread to his millions of listeners made his life “hell” and resulted in a campaign of harassment and death threats against him by people who believed he lied about his son’s death.
Ms Lewis said she believes that Jones knew that the hoax claims were false but spread them anyway because they attracted listeners and helped him market his supplements and other products.
The Sandy Hook tragedy remains the deadliest school shooting in American history.
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Mr Bankston poked holes in previous testimony from Jones that he did not have text messages about Sandy Hook on his phone.
It led to a dramatic moment in the trial in which Mr Bankston revealed that Jones’ lawyers “messed up” and sent him the contents of Jones’ phone by mistake.
“Do you know what perjury is?” Mr Bankston asked Jones.