Lawyers representing the Sandy Hook families who won judgments totaling nearly $1.5 billion against Alex Jones for questioning whether the 2012 Connecticut school shooting ever happened are offering to settle for $85 million.
The offer was made to Jones in his personal bankruptcy case in a court in Houston, where the talk show host and his company, Free Speech Systems, are in the process of trying to reorganize under what is referred to as a Chapter 11 proceeding.
In October, the judge ruled that Jones would not be able to use the bankruptcy proceedings to force a settlement under Chapter 11, which would have enabled Jones to liquidate his company and pay a much lower amount to the families.
The offer gives Jones the option of either liquidating his estate and giving the proceeds to creditors or paying $8.5 million a year for 10 years plus 50% of any income over $9 million per year, as reported by the AP.
At a hearing in the case, Jones’ attorney, Vickie Driver, argued that her client could not afford the offer even though it amounts to only 6% of the judgments against Jones.
“There are no financials that will ever show that Mr. Jones ever made that … in 10 years,” she said, per the AP.
The families won the massive judgments against Jones in two separate civil cases brought in Texas and Connecticut alleging defamation, after Jones repeatedly suggested on his Infowars show the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and six teachers was faked and the grieving parents were actors.
He claimed that the shootings were staged in order to force through the confiscation of guns, as reported by The Texas Tribune.
Jones is currently appealing the judgments, arguing that the trial court did not give him a fair trial and that his speech was protected by the First Amendment.