The self-proclaimed generalissimo in the battle for your mind has lost a far more important battle. Late Thursday night, a Texas jury stripped Alex Jones of primary custody of his three children. The InfoWars boss must now share custody with his ex-wife, Kelly–but Kelly will decide where the kids will live.
The verdict, announced just before 11 p.m. in Jones’ hometown of Austin, upended an arrangement that had been in place since Jones divorced Kelly in 2015. For the last two years, the couple’s three children–now aged 9, 12, and 14–have lived with their father. Kelly had only been allowed limited, supervised visitation for roughly four hours every month.
Earlier this month, Kelly sued for sole custody. She claimed that Alex was emotionally unstable, based on his sometimes graphic threats against prominent liberals on his radio show. Kelly also claimed Alex was trying to turn the children against her–a phenomenon known as “parental alienation.”
In his defense, Jones’ lawyers claimed that in real life, their client isn’t the bombastic wingnut we know on the radio and online. To hear them talk, Jones was merely “a performance artist” who was “playing a character.” In other words–if Jones isn’t an unhinged wingnut, he’s a grifter of the highest order. In either case, he doesn’t sound like the kind of person who should have kids living with him.
Jones appeared to win a major victory when the presiding judge, Orlinda Naranjo, refused to let Jones’ political screeds become a major issue. However, Kelly’s attorneys were able to submit evidence that strongly suggested the Alex Jones that we see and hear on InfoWars is the real Alex Jones. One video that Naranjo allowed into evidence showed a heavily inebriated Jones declaring on Inauguration Night that “1776 will commence again” and “the age of man is here.”
They also got a boost from the family’s therapist, Alissa Sherry, who recalled seeing Jones yell at his daughter for wearing a walking boot, as well as numerous times where Jones pulled off his shirt. According to Sherry, Jones had been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder by the time she began working with his family.
Jones didn’t help his own cause with his behavior during the trial. Last Tuesday, he loudly insisted to his followers that any talk about him being an actor is just another lie from the mainstream media–and thus left his lawyers on an island. His testimony was, to put it mildly, bizarre. He claimed that chili affected his memory, and a yearly test of marijuana led him to conclude that George Soros made it too powerful. Naranjo had to repeatedly tell Jones to stop making faces while on the stand, and also had to tell him numerous times to answer questions with a “yes” or “no.”
And yet, Jones’ attorneys argued that if anyone was emotionally unstable, it was Kelly. In response, Kelly’s lawyers claimed that any episodes that made it look like their client was unstable were simply a natural reaction to a mother who knows her kids are being turned against her by a man they described as “a cult leader.”
Needless to say, Kelly was overjoyed when the verdict came down. Charlie Warzel of BuzzFeed got her reaction.
Here's video of Kelly Jones here in the lobby post verdict pic.twitter.com/w81jfvMKbE
— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) April 28, 2017
She hopes to use this ordeal to raise awareness about parental alienation. While the details of the custody agreement are worked out, the kids will live exclusively with Kelly, and eventually Alex will get increased visitation.
For his part, Jones tried to spin the verdict as a win. Watch here.
Jones claimed all along that this verdict gave him much of what he wanted all along. Um, Alex? It’s awfully hard to spin a verdict in which you no longer have the right to decide your kids’ residence as a victory.
Many outlets inaccurately reported that Jones had lost custody altogether. However, it’s hard to see this as anything but a massive loss for Jones. It cannot be stressed enough–he no longer has the power to decide where his children live. Even if this case was technically not about InfoWars, if Jones keeps churning out conspiracy theories, it’s not going to help him. If you believe that a man who baselessly claims Chobani takes part in child sex trafficking is fit to be a father, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
(featured image courtesy Jones’ Facebook)