The host of Infowars is in an ongoing custody battle with his ex-wife, who says Jones is too volatile to have joint custody of their children. "He's not a stable person," she said at a recent pretrial hearing, according to the Austin American-Statesman, which also reported that her legal team plans to use some of his public statements to make that case.
The argument from Jones' attorney, the Statesman reported: "He's playing a character. He is a performance artist."
Similar issues were brought up by both sides during jury selection Monday, according to BuzzFeed News' Charlie Warzel, who was tweeting from the courtroom.
Using Jones' on-air persona to evaluate his temperament as a father, Jones' attorney said in the pre-trial hearing, according to the Statesman, would be like judging Jack Nicholson based on his role as the Joker in "Batman."
That defense will likely come as news to the millions who listen to Jones on radio broadcasts and Infowars.com, which had roughly 7.5 million unique visitors in the last month, according to Quantcast.
Lawyers for both Jones and his wife, who are under a gag order, did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.
Jones has gained notoriety in recent years for his angry tirades and conspiracy theories.
Among other false statements, Jones has said that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were an insider job and that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Last month, Jones issued a rare apology for his role in promoting the false "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory, which alleged that a child sex ring was being run out of a Washington, D.C. pizzeria.
Jones has also earned praise from Donald Trump. During the 2016 campaign, Trump called into Jones' show and told him, "Your reputation is amazing."
InfoWars' Alex Jones is a 'performance artist playing a character', according to his lawyer
Notorious US broadcaster Alex Jones is a “performance artist” and his on air persona is an act, according to his lawyer.
Mr Jones runs the controversial Infowars website, which is known for propagating conspiracy theories and its support of Donald Trump.
But Mr Jones is now embroiled in a custody battle with his estranged wife, Kelly Jones, with whom he has three children. She said some of Mr Jones’s on-air rants – for which he is renowned – are evidence of him being “not a stable” father.
However, Randall Wilhite, Mr Jones’s attorney, said the behaviour was merely an act.
“He’s playing a character. He is a performance artist.” Mr Wilhite said, according to the Austin-American Statesman.
Mr Wilhite said that using Mr Jones’ on-air persona to judge him as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in Batman.
The claim is likely to cause some confusion among Mr Jones’s fans, who have closely followed his musings. These included unfounded assertions that the Sandy Hook massacre and Boston bombings were hoaxes, Hillary Clinton should be jailed and that Barack Obama founded Isis.
But Mr Jones is not just any shock jock – his listeners are believed to include President Trump, who appeared on his show in December 2015, several months after he announced his candidacy. With millions of listeners a month, Infowars is credited with galvanising a large amount of support for Mr Trump during last year’s election.
Yet Mr Jones’s former wife claimed he was unhinged.
According to the Statesman, Ms Jones told a pre-trial hearing: “He’s not a stable person. He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin’s neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped.”
She also referred to comments Mr Jones made about California Democrat Adam Schiff, a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee who has also defended LGBT rights.
“I’m concerned that he is engaged in felonious behaviour, threatening a member of Congress. He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast,” Ms Jones said.
Mr Jones had called Mr Schiff a “fairy” and said he would “beat [his] goddamn ass”.
The presiding judge said he didn’t want Infowars to be a factor in the case but several pieces of footage from the website have already been submitted as evidence.
InfoWars’ Alex Jones Is a ‘Performance Artist,’ His Lawyer Says in Divorce Hearing
The Alex Jones who told his legions of "Infowars" listeners that bogus stories about the U.S. government being behind the 9/11 attacks and about Hillary Clinton operating a pedophile ring out of a Washington D.C. pizza joint is really "a performance artist."
That's according to Jones' own lawyer — not the mainstream media that the right-wing radio jock derides as "fake news."
"He's playing a character" and is nothing like his online persona, attorney Randall Wilhite reportedly insisted in a Texas courtroom at a pre-trial hearing ahead of the right wing radio jock's custody battle with ex-wife Kelly Jones.
Judging Jones by his Infowars performances would be like judging Jack Nicholson by his depiction of the Joker on "Batman," Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo last week, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Kelly Jones is seeking sole or joint custody of her three children, ages 14, 12 and 9, with her ex-husband, an ardent supporter of President Trump who broadcasts from his Austin home.
"He's not a stable person," she reportedly told the court. "He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin's neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped."
"I'm concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress," she added, referring to Jones' recent comments about Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California. "He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast."
There was no immediate response to Kelly Jones' claims from Jones, 43, who is also known for pushing other widely discredited claims like the moon landing was faked and the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was staged.
Meanwhile, lawyers for the warring Joneses began seating a jury in the Travis County courthouse for what's expected to be a contentious two-week hearing, court officials confirmed.
The couple divorced in 2015. Jones reportedly pays his ex-wife $43,000 per month, according to the Austin paper.
Jones' Infowars site was a hub for anti-Clinton conspiracies during the presidential campaign and Trump publicly thanked him for his support.
"You reputation is amazing," Trump he said in December 2015. "I will not let you down."
Jones claimed later that a victorious Trump later reached out to thank him and his listeners for his support.