Controversial far-right vlogger and dietary supplement salesman Alex Jones has settled a defamation lawsuit filed against him by a witness of the Unite the Right car attack, agreeing to pay a sum of $50,000.
Filed on behalf of area activist and former U.S. Foreign Service officer Brennan Gilmore, the Gilmore v. Jones lawsuit has been inching its way to trial for several years.
Gilmore sued Jones, who is the main host and operator of Infowars, as well as Infowars and several others, in March 2018, claiming defamation.
After Gilmore witnessed and filmed the Aug. 12, 2017, rally car attack that killed counter-protester Heather Heyer, the defendants started spreading conspiracies about Gilmore, which led to death threats against him and his family, according to the suit.
In addition to Jones and Infowars, the complaint names Free Speech Systems LLC, Jim Hoft, Lee Stranahan, Lee Ann McAdoo, Scott Creighton, Derrick Wilburn and former U.S. Rep. Allen B. West, R-Fla., as defendants. West was later dismissed from the suit and Wilburn and Hickford recently agreed to financial settlements.
In a draft order filed Thursday on behalf of Jones, Infowars and Free Speech Systems, LLC, the defendants admitted to defaming Gilmore. Per the order, the defendants had no “evidence that Gilmore was involved in a set up or in any other way with the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and the terrorist attack that killed Heather Heyer.”
“Jones, Infowars, and FSS admit that the publication of ‘Bombshell Connection Between Charlottesville, Soros, CIA’ on August 15, 2017 and ‘Breaking: State Department/CIA Orchestrated Charlottesville Tragedy’ on August 21, 2017 did not meet the journalistic standards of Jones, Infowars and FSS,” the order reads. “On behalf of Infowars and FSS, Alex Jones regrets those publications and their defamatory characterization of Mr. Gilmore, and agrees to retract them.”
Additionally, Jones and the other two defendants have agreed to pay Gilmore $50,000 in damages and will in turn be dismissed from the lawsuit.
“I am pleased to have reached a settlement with Alex Jones, Free Speech Systems, LLC and Infowars, LLC,” Gilmore said Friday. “I am gratified that they have each admitted liability for the claims asserted against them.”
Although Jones may now be free of his legal issues in the Charlottesville case he has attracted the ire of a Connecticut court this week after twice failing to show up for a deposition in a case brought by relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting who sued the Infowars host for calling the mass shooting a hoax.
According to the Associated Press, Thursday was the second-straight day Jones did not appear for the scheduled deposition in Austin, Texas, where Jones and Infowars are based. A judge found Jones liable for damages in November, and his testimony is being sought ahead of a trial to determine how much he should pay the families.
Jones claimed in a pre-recorded broadcast Thursday that he didn’t appear for the deposition on the advice of doctors and was home tending to his health. However, this decision directly conflicts with a Wednesday order from Connecticut Judge Barbara Bellis, who denied a request by Jones’ lawyers to delay the deposition and ordered Jones to appear Thursday.
Bellis wrote that letters from Jones’ doctors indicate his medical conditions aren’t serious enough to prevent him from attending the deposition and noted the defendant wasn’t hospitalized and appeared on his web show earlier this week.
Jones could be found in contempt of court for the no-show and lawyers representing the Sandy Hook victims’ families can request sanctions against him and try to subpoena him in Texas.
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