Thursday, August 11

Inspired by her son standing up to Sandy Hook gunman, she faced her ‘bully’ Alex Jones

AUSTIN, Texas — Scarlett Lewis’ hands quivered Tuesday when she saw her tormentor of nearly a decade, Alex Jones, sitting in the courtroom as she prepared to confront the lies he had repeatedly spread about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and the death of her 6-year-old son, Jesse.

Neither Lewis nor anyone else had known whether Jones would even show up for her testimony, after he spent much of his two-week trial recording new shows at his Infowars studio. But he was there, and Lewis’ her confidence was suddenly shaken as she took a drink of water to steady herself.

On the stand she took a deep breath, and began to speak.

“Jesse stood up to Adam Lanza, who came into his first grade classroom. I have stood up to his bully of him. I mean, you know, like the ultimate bully,” Lewis recalled later. “I stood up to my bully, because Alex Jones is a bully… It was hard, but I found the courage like Jesse did.”

Lewis’ testimony, along with that of Jesse’s father, Neil Heslin, marked the first time that the family members of those lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy were able to take to the stand to confront Jones’ false claims that the shooting was a “hoax ,” and that their dead children were “actors.” In the coming months, more family members are expected to testify as Jones faces similar lawsuits in both Connecticut and Texas.

Mark Bankston, an attorney in the Texas case who is also representing Sandy Hook parents Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, predicted on Friday that the sum of damages in those cases — in each of which Jones has been found liable — would be enough to cripple Jones’ Infowars empire, which has already filed for bankruptcy.

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This week a jury awarded Lewis and Heslin nearly $50 million in damages, less than the $150 million judgment that their attorneys had sought, but far more than the $2 million that Jones testified he would be able to withstand. An attorney for Jones said on Friday that he will seek to drastically lower that amount.

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