Alex Jones, the far-right conspiracy theorist and Donald Trump supporter who has claimed the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack was faked, called Lady Gaga satanic, and gone on a homophobic rant against a congressman, is admitting through his lawyer that it’s all an act.
Jones is fighting his ex-wife, Kelly, for custody of their three children, age 9, 12, and 14. She says his outbursts on his Infowars website, his radio show, and his YouTube channel are evidence that he’s not a fit parent. But his lawyer says this media presence is a persona and not the real Alex Jones.
“He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist,” attorney Randal Wilhite said during a recent pretrial hearing, the Austin American-Statesman reports. Judging Jones based on his broadcasts, Wilhite said, would be like judging Jack Nicholson from his portrayal of the Joker.
But at the same hearing, Kelly Jones said, “He’s not a stable person. He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin’s neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped. I’m concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress. He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast.”
Jury selection is beginning today in the custody trial in Travis County, Texas, of which Austin is the county seat. The trial is expected to last two weeks, the American-Statesman reports.
Alex Jones supported Trump’s presidential campaign, and Trump gave Jones an interview via Skype in December 2015. Jones has frequently hosted Trump adviser Roger Stone, and some prominent politicians, such as U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have appeared on his show.
Jones promotes the theory that “globalist” forces, including politicians and big business, are out to rob the U.S. of its sovereignty, and that Trump will save the nation from this conspiracy. Some of the chief villains in Jones’s world are Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and philanthropist George Soros. Whether this is an act or he believes any of it, Jones has millions of followers who take him seriously.
Over a 20-year career that began on an Austin public access TV channel, he has made a variety of bizarre assertions. He said the Sandy Hook attack, in which a gunman took the lives of 20 children and six adults, was staged to gain support for gun control. He predicted that Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show would be a satanic ritual, and he accused her of being involved in child sex-trafficking rings run out of pizza parlors, an operation he claimed was headed by Hillary Clinton. (He recently was forced to backtrack on his support for the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory.)
When Jennifer Lopez criticized Trump at this year’s Grammy ceremony, Jones responded that Trump “doesn’t want to bring people in from Somalia where women are sold on slave blocks. Why don’t you go to Somalia for five minutes, lady; you’ll be gang-raped so fast it’ll make your head spin.” He said he expected Obama to stage a coup or declare martial law in order to prevent Trump from taking office, and he has pleaded with Hillary Clinton not to kill him.
Recently, Jones went on an antigay tirade against U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a Trump critic who has been prominent in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election. He called Schiff an “archetypal cocksucker” and a “fairy,” and said, “I’ll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a bitch.” A few days later, Jones said this rant was just a big joke, an “art performance.”
Alex Jones’s children, two daughters and a son, have lived with him since he and Kelly Jones were divorced in 2015. Son Rex, the oldest, has appeared reporting “news” on his father’s media platforms for nearly two years. His father has called the boy “a good little knight who’s going to grow up, I know, to be a great fighter against the enemy.” Alex Jones is now remarried, and he and his wife are expecting another child any day.
Alex Jones’s world of battling a global conspiracy is “the world he has planned for his kids,” Bobby Newman, an attorney for Kelly Jones, said at the pretrial hearing, according to the American-Statesman. Another of her attorneys, Robert Hoffman, said she “is a wonderful mother who has had her kids turned against her.”
Judge Orlinda Naranjo said she will not allow the Schiff clip to be admitted as evidence in the custody trial, but she will allow some others, the paper reports. “This case is not about Infowars,” she said.