AUSTIN, Texas - In day seven of Alex Jones' defamation trial, he took the stand to defend himself. The day began with his attorney, F. Andino Reynal helping him explain why he thought Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
"I really believed that it was staged at that point, and I was basing that off of really Steve Pieczenik, who has been a prestigious person," said Jones.
Jones quickly said afterward, that he feels differently now.
"It's 100 percent real. I’m proud of the fact I had a chance to have Neil and Scarlett come over to me, shake my hand, talk to me face to face, so I can tell them face to face that I'm sorry," said Jones.
But things took a sharp turn during cross-examination, when Attorney Mark Bankston, who represents parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, asked Jones about a recent InfoWars broadcast that mentioned the trial.
"You want everyone in this courtroom to believe this judge is rigging this court proceeding so that a script, a literal script is being followed?" said Bankston.
"No, I believe the jury is real," said Jones.
Then more courtroom confrontation, after Bankston seemingly caught Jones in a lie about what information he handed over to the court.
"Mr. Jones, in discovery you were asked do you have Sandy Hook text messages on your phone, and you said no, correct?" said Bankston.
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"I was mistaken, but you've got the messages right there," said Jones.
Some of the texts showed Jones engaging in editorial conversation with an InfoWars employee. It was determined that information was leaked accidentally.
"Did you know that 12 days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years?" said Bankston.
"See, I told you the truth. This is your Perry Mason moment. I gave them my phone," said Jones.
Jones was directed to give that up during discovery. Bankston said this opens the door to perjury.
The case is now in the hands of the jury, which in this phase, will decide the amount to pay Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis. Lawyers are asking for $75 million for them, and another $75 million in punitive damages in the second phase.