Hollywood star faces defamation case after allegedly calling sister of slain US Marine an ?insurrectionist?
The relatives of a US Marine who was killed in Afghanistan last year, amid the US withdrawal from the country, filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against Alec Baldwin on Monday. They accuse the actor of causing them "severe emotional distress" after he allegedly branded one of the soldier’s sisters an "insurrectionist" when he learned she was in Washington, DC, during the January 6 Capitol Hill riot.
The widow and two sisters of Lance Corporal Rylee McCollum, a 20-year-old soldier who was one of 13 troops killed in the August 26 suicide bombing at Kabul airport, sued Baldwin in a Wyoming court for allegedly making comments on Instagram that were "false [and] outrageous" as well as being "irresponsible [and] vindictive."
In the court filing, the plaintiffs said Baldwin had donated $5,000 to the Marine’s widow, Jiennah McCollum, and their newborn daughter as a "tribute to a fallen soldier." On January 3, however, the embattled actor brought up the money when one sister, Roice McCollum, shared a "throwback" photo on the social media platform.
The picture, which showed Roice among a crowd of Trump supporters at the Washington Monument on January 6, 2021, was apparently shared "in anticipation" of the riot’s anniversary earlier this month. In a comment on the post, Baldwin asked whether she was "the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister’s husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?"
According to the lawsuit, Baldwin then sent a number of private messages to Roice that accused her of being an "insurrectionist" and told her to "own it." He also allegedly wrote "didn’t know you were a January 6th rioter" when he sent the money.
When Roice replied that "protesting is perfectly legal in the country," Baldwin texted her that he had "reposted your photo" and wished her "good luck," the family alleged. The suit added that he then recounted the incident in a post to his 2.4 million Instagram followers, calling claims about peaceful protests at Capitol Hill "bulls**t."
Within minutes of that post, the family said Roice started getting "hostile, aggressive, hateful messages from Baldwin’s followers." This apparently including a message telling her to "get raped and die." They claim the actor "continued to engage his followers" and "fueled [the] firestorm of hatred that he started."
Baldwin, who is already facing legal troubles related to the fatal shooting on the set of the movie ‘Rust,’ is yet to comment on the McCollums’ allegations.