Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has filed for bankruptcy.
Jones, the founder of far-right conspiracy website InfoWars, owes nearly $1.5bn in damages to families of victims who died in the Sandy Hook school shooting.
He was sued after he accused the relatives of children and teachers who died of being actors who faked the massacre.
Jones, 48, described the shooting as “phoney as a three-dollar bill” and claimed that the whole event was staged in an effort to curb gun rights.
He was ordered to pay $1.4bn in a case in Connecticut and $45m in a Texas case for damage caused by his lies.
He and his lawyers have said he will appeal against the rulings.
Twenty pupils, all aged six or seven, and six staff members were killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012.
A court filing showed Jones filed for chapter 11 protection from creditors with the US bankruptcy court in Houston, Texas.
In documents, he said he has between $1m and $10m of assets and between $1bn and $10bn of liabilities.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company or individual to propose a reorganisation plan to allow them to keep operating while also paying off their debts.
The controversial host has been banned from virtually all mainstream social media because of his conspiracy theories.
He still streams content on his own platform to a devoted online following.
On Thursday, Jones made headlines around the world after he was joined by Kanye West for an interview in which the rapper praised Hitler.
Despite Jones’ social media exile, clips of his talk with the rapper were circulated widely, with West’s views on the Nazis prompting widespread outrage.
Who is Alex Jones?
He said to the rapper: “You’re not Hitler, you’re not a Nazi, so you don’t deserve to be called that and demonised.”
West, whose face was hidden by a black mask throughout the interview, replied: “Well, I see good things about Hitler also.
“I love everyone, and Jewish people are not going to tell me, ‘you can love, you know, us’… every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
Born in Dallas, Texas, Jones began working in cable TV in the 1990s where he picked up a cult following thanks to his conspiracy theories.
In 1999 he cofounded InfoWars, which became popular in online conspiracy circles, reportedly racking up more than 10 million visits a month in 2017.
After repeated controversies and lawsuits, the site’s parent company Free Speech Systems LLC filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Along with the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory, he infamously promulgated the “Pizzagate” fake story, which alleged that a Washington DC pizzeria was at the centre of an international paedophile abuse ring run by high-profile Democrats.