Chobani yogurt company files lawsuit against Alex Jones
Chobani filed a lawsuit against radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, saying he published false information about the Greek yogurt company.
Chobani says that Jones and his Infowars website posted fake stories that linked Chobani owner Hamdi Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving children, AP reports.
The company filed the suit in Idaho District Court in Twin Falls -- home of the largest yogurt plant in the world.
Chobani's attorney wrote that Jones is no stranger to controversial 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," he added, according to AP. "Mr. Jones has now taken aim at Chobani and the Twin Falls community."
According to the complaint, Infowars released a video on April 11 that describes Chobani's practice of hiring refugees in connection with a sexual assault case that did not involve the company at all.
In the video, an Infowars reporter republished statements that claimed the Chobani plant has brought crime and tuberculosis to Twin Falls since it opened five years ago.
The report was critical of Ulukaya's support of hiring refugees and mentions an assault that involved refugees in the town -- but it was not related to Chobani in any way.
The assault case mentioned in the Infowars report happened in 2016. Three Twin Falls refugee boys admitted to charges involved in the assault of a 5-year-old girl at an apartment complex.
The incident was spun by far-right blogs and anti-immigration groups that exaggerated many details, AP reports.
Chobani's lawsuit also takes issue with the headline of the video, "Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Important Migrant Rapists," since Infowars did not mention or prove that statement in the report. Jones himself and other outlets shared the story.
Infowars did not respond to AP's request for comment.
"The defendants' defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani's products," the yogurt company's lawsuit says.
Chobani's attorneys say Jones has not responded to requests to remove the inaccurate coverage. The company is seeking at least $10,000 in damages.