- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2018

Two people formerly employed by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have filed federal complaints alleging the embattled InfoWars publisher discriminated against his staff and subjected them to a workplace rife with sexist, racist and anti-Semitic harassment.

Complaints filed recently with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claim the Austin-based publisher once groped a female subordinate and repeatedly teased a Jewish staffer on account of his ethnicity, among other distressing workplace conduct, the Daily Mail first reported Wednesday.

Mr. Jones, 44, rejected the allegations as “100 percent false” and “total fiction,” the Mail reported.

An attorney for Free Speech Systems, the parent company the oversees InfoWars website and “The Alex Jones Show,” said the claims will be “investigated,” according to the report.

In a complaint dated Feb. 7, Ashley Beckford, a former production assistant and on-air personality employed by Free Speech Systems, wrote that she was discriminated against soon after starting work there in June 2016, the Daily Mail reported.



“Almost immediately upon my hire, I began to be subjected to harassment and discrimination, due to my race,” Ms. Beckford wrote, adding that she alleges she was subject to different terms and conditions of employment on account of being black.

“I also was subjected to harassment and racial slurs by Respondent’s management and some peer colleagues, as well as subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile, sexually offensive work environment,” she wrote in her complaint against Free Speech Systems.

In one instance, according to Ms. Beckford, Mr. Jones grabbed her behind prior to announcing: “Who wouldn’t want to have a black wife?’”

“Alex often spent his time shirtless, and endlessly leering, with or without a shirt, at female guests and employees while creating a disgusting, hostile environment,” she added.

Rob Jacobson, a former video editor hired by Free Speech Systems in 2004, filed his own complaint Feb. 9 alleging Mr. Jones of running an office culture he described as “racially and sexually discriminatory.”

“I am Jewish, and my employer used racial slurs against me, calling me ‘The Resident Jew,’ ‘The Jewish Individual’ and ‘Yacobson.’ My workplace was a syndicated radio show, so these slurs were made publicly, on air,” he wrote in the complaint.

“My employer also inserted my face onto the photo of a Hasidic Jewish man and circulated that picture around the office,” he added.

Separate from the EEOC complaint, Mr. Jacobson is pursuing a lawsuit against Mr. Jones alleging discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal, the Daily Mail reported.

“Obviously Free Speech Systems and InfoWars takes these things very seriously and will fully investigate all of those allegations, but they don’t make sense to me for a lot of different reasons,” said Eric Taube, an attorney for Free Speech Systems.

“I’m not the type of person to say those kinds of things,” added Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones dismissed the allegations during the start of his broadcast Thursday and attempted to link the complaints to a frequent foe: former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“I feel honored to be attacked by Hillary Clinton and her lawyer. That’s who filed the suit,” he said during “The Alex Jones Show” Thursday. “It’s Hillary Rodham Clinton’s former lawyer that has filed all of this.”

The latest revelations regarding Mr. Jones comes as the controversial conspiracy theorist faces a backlash brought on by his recent coverage of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. His popular YouTube account, the Alex Jones Channel, is in danger of expulsion from the platform for allegedly violating its rules against harassment and bullying by uploading videos targeting students who survived the massacre.

Mr. Jones has claimed that his website and YouTube videos reach tens of millions of people per week, and President Trump appeared on his program during the 2016 White House race.

“Your reputation is amazing,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Jones.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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