CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The widow and two sisters of a U.S. Marine killed in Afghanistan are suing Alec Baldwin, alleging the actor uncovered them to a flood of social media hatred by claiming on Instagram that one sister was an “insurrectionist” for attending former President Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C., rally on Jan. 6 final yr.
The sister, Roice McCollum, protested peacefully and legally; was not amongst those that stormed the U.S. Capitol that day and, after being interviewed by the FBI, “was never detained, arrested, accused of or charged with any crime,” in keeping with the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne.
The lawsuit comes as Baldwin is immersed in an ongoing investigation into the dying of a cinematographer and the wounding of a director final fall after a prop gun the actor was holding on a film set went off.
Last yr, Baldwin despatched McCollum a $5,000 examine to assist the widow of her brother Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum of Jackson, who was amongst 13 U.S. troopers killed in a suicide bombing Aug. 26 on the Kabul airport, in keeping with the lawsuit.
On Jan. 3 of this yr, the lawsuit says, the actor privately messaged Roice McCollum on Instagram quickly after she posted an nearly year-old picture of the Trump rally, asking if she was the identical lady who’d taken his donation. The go well with says McCollum confirmed she was on the protest and informed Baldwin, “Protesting is completely authorized.”
The suit says Baldwin responded by remarking that “her activities resulted in the unlawful destruction of government property, the death of a law enforcement officer, an assault on the certification of the presidential election,” and told McCollum that he’d reposted the photo to his 2.4 million Instagram followers.
“Good luck,” Baldwin wrote, according to the lawsuit.
“Baldwin plainly ignored Roice’s denial of rioting and the assertion that she was cleared by the FBI for participating in any of the conduct Baldwin chose to falsely attribute to her via his massive following,” the lawsuit reads.
Representatives for Baldwin didn’t immediately return email and phone messages Wednesday. FBI officials in Denver didn’t return email messages Wednesday asking if the lawsuit’s assertions about Roice McCollum are true. Federal court records reviewed by The Associated Press did not show any criminal charges against her.
After Baldwin shared the photo of the Jan. 6 protest on social media, Roice McCollum got “hundreds upon hundreds of hateful messages,” together with one telling her to “get raped and die” and that her brother “got what he deserved,” in keeping with the lawsuit.
In a submit below his Instagram account, #alecbaldwininsta, Baldwin known as that message “abhorrent,” and informed Roice McCollum, “There are hateful things posted toward you that are wrong,” in keeping with pc screenshots filed within the case.
The lawsuit says Baldwin did not do something to treatment the state of affairs, nevertheless. And by sharing the picture, he “lit the match and blew on the fire,” ensuing within the hateful messages and dying threats not solely towards Roice McCollum but additionally towards Rylee McCollum’s different sister, Cheyenne McCollum, and widow, Jiennah McCollum, it says.
The lawsuit, first reported by the Casper Star-Tribune, alleges invasion of privateness, defamation, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional misery and seeks $25 million in damages.
Jiennah McCollum gave delivery to her late husband’s daughter in September. Online fundraisers have raised round $1 million for the widow and baby.
On Friday, Baldwin surrendered his cellphone to authorities investigating a deadly taking pictures on a movie set in New Mexico final fall. Baldwin’s prop revolver discharged a dwell spherical throughout a rehearsal, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, in keeping with authorities.
Associated Press author Jake Coyle in New York contributed to this report.