Chobani Sues Alex Jones For Falsely Linking Company To Child Rape & Tuberculosis
Greek yogurt make Chobani is suing Alex Jones for publishing articles and videos that falsely link the brand to child rape and a tuberculosis outbreak near its Twin Falls, Idaho, plant.
CHOBANI SUING ALEX JONES
The lawsuit, filed Monday in an Idaho state court, states that Jones’ website Infowars defamed Chobani and its owner Hamdi Ulukaya in reports alleging that the company’s practice of hiring refugees had increased crime and disease in the town. Chobani claims that Jones refused to remove the reports, which were still accessible as of Tuesday on Alex Jones’ YouTube channel and main Infowars site.
“Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists,” reads a tweet from the Infowars Twitter account highlighted in the court complaint. The suit also cited an Aug. 2016 article that suggested that Chobani was responsible for a “50% increase in tuberculosis in Twin Falls.”
Because of these allegations, the lawsuit said, some former Chobani customers had called for a boycott of their products. “The Defendants’ defamatory statements have caused and continue to cause harm to Idaho residents, including Chobani employees, their families, and other members of the Twin Falls community associated with Chobani,” read the complaint.
Jones, on the other hand, is standing by his allegations. “I’m not backing down, I’m never giving up, I love this,” he said in a recording on his YouTube channel on Monday. “They have jumped the trillion-pound great white shark on this baby.” In the video, he claims that billionaire George Soros is behind the lawsuit, despite his name not appearing anywhere in the court filings.
Jones has become famous for backing outrageous conspiracy theories for years, including claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax and that the Sept. 11 attacks were government orchestrated. Last month, he apologized for promoting an untrue scandal that Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman were running a child sex abuse ring out of a DC pizza joint. Of course, Jones has reveled in a popularity boost from his friendship with Donald Trump.
“Jones is no stranger to spurious statements. He has claimed that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut,” read the Chobani complaint. “Mr. Jones has now taken aim at Chobani and the Twin Falls community.”
Chobani fell into Jones’ crosshairs last year when a group of refugees in Twin Falls sexually assaulted a five-year-old girl. Infowars, and other conservative news outlets erroneously reported that the girl was raped at knifepoint by a gang of Syrian men. The outlets tried to connect the incident to Chobani’s plant, which employs more than 300 refugees. Authorities, however, assert that the girl was sexually assaulted, not raped, and that there was no knife involved. The suspects, who have since pleaded guilty, were in fact minors from Iraq and Sudan.