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Sandy Hook parents sue radio host Alex Jones for defamation

Alex Jones Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The lawsuits were filed in Texas, where Mr Jones lives and works

Three parents whose young children were killed in a school shooting in 2012 have sued right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation.

Mr Jones has long claimed on his radio show and InfoWars website that the Sandy Hook Elementary school attack was "completely fake" and a "giant hoax".

Twenty children - all under the age of seven - and six adults were killed.

Mr Jones has implied that the parents are actors seeking to undermine laws allowing private gun ownership.

Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son Noah Pozner was one of those killed by a gunman, filed their lawsuit in Travis County, Texas, where Mr Jones lives and works.

"This conspiracy theory, which has been pushed by InfoWars and Mr Jones since the day of the shooting, alleges that the Sandy Hook massacre did not happen, or that it was staged by the government and concealed using actors, and that the parents of the victims are participants in a horrifying cover-up," the lawsuit says.

Mr Jones, in an April 2017 video titled "Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed", insinuated that Ms De La Rosa was an actor.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Noah Pozner, six, was one of the children killed in the massacre

A separate lawsuit filed in Travis County by Neil Heslin, father of slain student Jesse Lewis, alleges that Mr Jones accused him of lying about holding his son's body with a bullet hole in his head, according to the complaint.

"This heartless and vile act of defamation re-ignited the Sandy Hook 'false flag' conspiracy and tore open the emotional wounds that plaintiff has tried so desperately to heal," the complaint said.

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Media captionSandy Hook survivors march with Parkland

The parents are seeking at least $1m (£700,000) in damages.

They are suing Mr Jones more than five years after the shooting because they concluded the right-wing radio host has no intention of leaving them alone, according to Mark Bankston, a Houston-based lawyer for the parents.

Parents of Sandy Hook victims who have spoken publicly about their experiences have been targeted by trolls, both online, as well as in person.

Last June, a Florida woman who believes the attack was fabricated, was sentenced to five months in prison for making death threats against Mr Pozner by phone and email.

Mr Jones has not yet commented on the lawsuits.

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