Alex Jones, the firebrand Infowars host and conspiracy peddler says in a sworn deposition that his false statements after the Sandy Hook killings were caused by a “psychosis.”
Jones made the claim in response to a defamation lawsuit brought by family members of the victims of the 2012 massacre.
He faces eight lawsuits over his comments about the tragedy, including conspiracy theories that the shooting, that left 27 people dead, including 20 children, was a staged event and that parents of the victims lied about the deaths.
The three-hour deposition was posted online Friday by a Texas law firm, Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball, LLP.
The lawsuit charges that Jones and InfoWars have “shocked the world with malicious statements about national tragedies, including the school shootings at Sandy Hook.”
Two of the lawsuits “seek to hold Mr. Jones accountable for his vile assertions that the Sandy Hook parents were lying about what happened to their children, as well as his claims that these parents conspired with the media to fake news coverage,” the law firm says.
In the disposition, Jones says “the public doesn’t believe what they’re told anymore” because of corruption by government and the “mainstream media.”
“And I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I’m now learning a lot of times things aren’t staged,” Jones says.
Jones also says that the “trauma” of the media “lying so much” has caused him to distrust everything.
“So long before these lawsuits I said that in the past I thought everything was a conspiracy and I would kind of get into that mass group-think of the communities that were out there saying that,” Jones said. “And so now I see that it’s more in the middle. All right? So that’s where I stand.”
Huffpost, which first reported on the deposition, has posted a full transcript of it online.
It was not the first time that the Austin-based Jones had to explain his online persona in a legal setting.
In a court battle with his ex-wife in 2017, in which he lost custody of his children, Jones’s lawyer explained his on-line ranting was not real.
“He’s playing a character,” attorney Randall Wilhite said during a pretrial hearing. “He is a performance artist.”
In an odd twist, though, even during the 10-day trial, in which he lost custody of his children, Jones would tell his online audience, “I am completely real and everybody knows it.”
His wife, Kelly Jones, however, has described him as out of control, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “He’s not a stable person,” she has said, according to the Statesman. “He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast.”
Jones, who has been lauded by President Donald Trump, has suggested that Hillary Clinton was running a pedophile ring out of a Washington D.C., pizza restaurant; argued that a yogurt company, in hiring refugees, has brought “migrant rapists” and tuberculosis to areas near the factories.