Infowars founder Alex Jones is a narcissist, according to expert testimony Wednesday in a child custody case in Austin. He is also a terrible client.
The two are possibly related.
Psychologist Alissa Sherry, the case manager for Jones's divorce from his wife, Kelly, testified that Jones has been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, which the Mayo Clinic defines as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.”
Jonathan Tilove, covering the case for the Austin American-Statesman, tweeted Jones's reaction to the public revelation of his diagnosis.
A “deep need for admiration” could explain why Jones has spent the week undermining his lawyers' best efforts to convince a jury that he is not as wacky in real life as he appears on his syndicated radio show.
“He's playing a character,” attorney Randall Wilhite said at a pretrial hearing. “He is a performance artist.”
In court on Tuesday, another attorney, David Minton, described Jones's work as “satire” and “sarcasm.”
The “performance artist” argument seems like a smart one, since outbursts like this probably don't help the good dad image. But the idea that Jones is just “playing a character” could cost him the admiration of an audience that thinks he is the real deal.
That is a price Jones seems unwilling to pay, so he is basically arguing against his own legal team.
After news outlets picked up on Wilhite's remarks, Jones filmed a video on his way to court Monday, in which he said this: “They’ve got articles out today that I say I’m a fake, all of this other crap. Total bull! ... I 110 percent believe what I stand for. We’re changing the world with you.”
In another video, posted Tuesday, Jones said his show is “the most bona fide, hard-core, real McCoy thing there is, and everybody knows it.”
Also Tuesday, one of Jones's closest allies, Roger Stone, gave an interview to Tilove in which he directly contradicted Jones's attorneys. Asked whether Jones's lawyers understand him, Stone replied, “No, they don't.”
“I get what [they’re] doing,” he added, “but to say he’s an actor — that implies he doesn’t believe in what he’s saying."
When Jones finally took the stand Wednesday, he denied playing a character.
And in a second day of testimony Thursday, Jones certainly resembled his on-air persona, if the tweets by reporters covering the proceedings were any indication.