Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is a 'performance artist' who is just 'playing a character' on his Infowars radio show, according to his lawyer.
The remarks were made in a family court in which Jones's ex-wife, Kelly Jones, is trying to get custody of their three children, aged 9-14, citing her husband's 'unstable' character and possibly illegal remarks.
'He's playing a character,' his attorney, Randall Wilhite, said at a recent pretrial hearing, according to myStatesman. 'He is a performance artist.'
'Performance': Alex Jones claims that his appearances on his Infowars show are 'performance art' and that he is 'playing a character' in his vitriolic, conspiracy-themed broadcasts
'Unstable': Jones is 'unstable,' claims his wife, who believes he may have committed a felony when he 'threatened' Rep. Adam Schiff in March. Kelly Jones (right) wants custody of their kids
Jones has made a name for himself as the beetroot-faced, lava-spitting host of far-right show Infowars.
The show has featured 'reports' that the government was behind the 9/11 attacks and that the Sandy Hook murders were faked by the government.
It's also become an outlet for Jones to make eye-popping claims including one that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are possessed by demons and smell of sulfur.
His remarks are also known for taking a turn for the violent when he covers liberal celebrities - including a promise to 'break' Alec Baldwin's neck and telling J-Lo to go to Somalia, where she will be 'gang-raped so fast it’ll make your head spin.'
More recently, on March 30, he called Rep. Adam Schiff a 'c**ksucker' and a 'fairy' after Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called for an investigation into Trump's Russia ties.
He then threatened to 'beat' Schiff's 'goddamn a**,' before paraphrasing John Wayne in True Grit: 'You got that you goddamn son of a b***h? Fill your hand.'
All three of those instances were cited by Kelly Jones as reasons why her husband is 'not a stable person' who should be entrusted with their kids.
She is especially concerned as the threats against Schiff could constitute a crime, she told the court. Threatening a government official can carry a maximum of 5-10 years in prison.
'I'm concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress,' she said. 'He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast.'
That makes her concerned for their son, 14, and daughters, nine and 12, who have lived with Alex Jones since their divorce concluded in 2015, she said.
She also said that there is no difference between the Alex Jones that appears on the show and the one raising their children.
But Jones's lawyer said that the claims aimed at his client were absurd - as ridiculous as judging Jack Nicholson's character based on his performance as the Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie.
State district judge Orlinda Naranjo said she had never heard of Jones before he appeared in her court, and listened to clips of Infowars episodes to decide whether they could be heard in court.
She allowed two clips - one of him smoking marijuana in California, where it is legal, and one of him bringing his son onto the show.
In the latter clip, first broadcast in July 2015, when his son was 12, Jones invites his son to play a video - one of 15-20 he had made with the Infowars team who had 'taken him under their wing'.
'He is undoubtedly cut out for this, and I intend for him to eclipse what I’ve done,' Jones said. 'He's a way greater person than I was at 12.
''I love you so much, and I didn't mean to get you up here, sweetheart, and tell people how much I love you, but you're so handsome, and you're a good little knight who's going to grow up, I know, to be a great fighter against the enemy.'
However, Naranjo said the jury would not be allowed to hear Jones's rant against Schiff, including its anti-gay slurs and threats of violence.
'This case is not about Infowars, and I don’t want it to be about Infowars,' Naranjo said.
Days after his anti-Schiff rant - and after the media pointed out that threatening a Representative is illegal - Jones walked back his comments on-air, in a rare retraction.
He said the outlandish remarks were 'clearly tongue-in-cheek and basically art performance, as I do in my rants, which I admit I do, as a form of art.'
'When I say, "I'm going to kick your ass," it's the Infowar,' he added. 'I say every day we're going to destroy you with the truth.'
Alex Jones claims that his persona on his Infowars radio show is a character - but he was not pleased when TV spy drama Homeland followed suit.
In the latest season of the show, which premiered January 15, conservative firebrand host 'Brett O'Keefe' made his debut.
O'Keefe - whose name is likely inspired by conservative activist James O'Keefe - is an online radio host whose speeches are uncannily similar to Jones' own.
'A bomb going off in the streets of New York City - again!' the character roars at one point. 'The more I think about that, the angrier I get, I mean, I am sitting here, I am so upset about, I can barely speak!'
He adds: 'Bring on the end of the world over [in the Middle East], with their goats!'
O'Keefe becomes the nemesis of a female president-elect - who claims that his followers are 'bots' designed to spread his message as part of a domestic propaganda machine.
Jones was not pleased.
On his show, he responded: 'They're now having major network TV shows admit they have a character that's supposed to be me, to discredit me, by building strawmen and saying and doing things I don't support.'
The site also claimed in an article that it was proof that 'Infowars is part of the cultural zeitgeist and cannot be ignored.'
And it also suggested, the site said, that 'The establishment knows that young people don’t watch television news and don’t trust mainstream media so they have to resort to propaganda placement by smearing Jones through the medium of fictional entertainment.'
Homeland's producers have not 'admitted' that they were trying to discredit or smear Jones.
Inspiration: Alex Jones appears to have been the inspiration for the character of Brett O'Keefe (pictured), a conservative radio host in the sixth season of Homeland