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Sandy Hook mom discusses new Alex Jones documentary and holding him accountable

FILE, 2013: In the month following the death of her son Jesse in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Scarlett Lewis appeared before Connecticut state politicians and members of the community during a Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety in Newtown, Connecticut.
Christopher Capozziello
/
Getty
FILE, 2013: In the month following her son Jesse's death in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, Scarlett Lewis appeared before Connecticut state politicians and members of the community during a Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety in Newtown, Connecticut.

Jesse Lewis was one of the 20 children who did not graduate with his class from Newtown High School in June. Jesse was killed almost 13 years ago in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that also claimed the lives of six educators.

His mother, Scarlett Lewis, led a discussion at the Prospector Theater in Ridgefield about the new documentary “The Truth vs Alex Jones,” now streaming on Netflix.

The documentary details how Sandy Hook families took conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to court for the more than 10 years of suffering they say he caused them by repeatedly lying about the incident and attacking the victim's families on his radio show.

The film shows Lewis on the stand face to face with Jones in a courtroom for the first time.

“I will say that that was the hardest thing that I've had to go through since my son's murder,” Lewis said.

Lewis and her ex-husband Neil Heslin took the unusual step of suing Jones and his media company, Free Speech Systems in court in Texas, in an attempt to stop the lies and attacks.

“I did take Alex Jones to court. It was the first lawsuit of its kind,” Lewis said. "No one, no victim's family has ever taken someone to court who was saying that they weren't who they were, what happened, didn't happen. It was the first lawsuit of its kind.”

Kelsey Hubbard
/
Connecticut Public

After Jesse was murdered, Lewis started the Choose Love Movement, a nonprofit organization with a mission to create safer and more loving communities by providing schools free Character Social Emotional Development programs for children.

The organization has reached over 3.5 million people. To be true to her purpose, Lewis said she felt it was necessary to take a stand against Jones' decades of lies.

“I felt like it was my personal responsibility to highlight the importance of truth in our society," she said. "My whole life since Jesse's murder has been dedicated towards keeping our kids safe. And when there was someone out there saying that I wasn't who I was and that my son never existed and that the tragedy never happened. I felt like that was working directly against my mission.”

Jones’ lies and misinformation about the Sandy Hook shooting can be traced back to within hours of the attack. While the gruesome details of that day were still unfolding, Jones started broadcasting on his show that it was a hoax — staged in an elaborate plot by the government to take away guns.

And then for years, he repeatedly claimed that the families of victims who died in one of the deadliest school shootings in American history were actors and that their children didn’t exist or were still alive. As a result, the victims' families received years of death threats, and personal attacks from people who believed Jones’ lies.

Lewis and Heslin’s lawsuit was followed by other Sandy Hook families suing Jones, all of which ended with Jones having to pay the families close to $1 billion in damages. The parties have been fighting in court for years over Jones’ assets all the while he has continued his Infowars show.

A bankruptcy court trustee agreed in late June to liquidate Jones’ assets in an attempt to pay what he owes the families.

On Thursday, a federal bankruptcy judge stopped Lewis and Heslin’s efforts to begin collecting on some of the $50 million they won in the lawsuit against Jones. The judge ruled that the state judge’s decision allowing them to collect conflicts with federal bankruptcy law.

Jesse Lewis would have celebrated his 18th birthday on June 30. To honor him and the Choose Love Movement he inspired, a fundraiser has been launched and an anonymous donor is matching every monthly donation given with a $250 gift to the organization. For more information go to ChooseLoveMovement.org.

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