The family of a US Marine who was killed in the suicide bombing at the Afghanistan airport in August has filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against actor Alec Baldwin, saying he accused them on Instagram of being insurrectionists who took part in the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The family of Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum said in the suit that Baldwin’s comments on social media “were false, outrageous, defamatory, irresponsible, vindictive, and caused — and continue to cause — Plaintiffs severe emotional distress.”
The suit came after Baldwin had sent $5,000 to McCollum’s widow to help with expenses of the couple’s child, born after McCollum was killed.
Baldwin reached out to McCollumn’s sister, Roice, to give the check and request she pass it on to her brother’s widow, Jiennah.
On Jan. 3, Roice shared a photo on Instagram of herself at the Washington Monument on Jan. 6, 2021. According to the lawsuit, Roice was among the protesters who showed up to the march, but court documents included in the suit reveal that, while she was protesting the vote certification of Joe Biden, she did not take part any unlawful activity at the Capitol.
“During the rioting, she was stuck in place outside the Capitol Building next to multiple police officers for hours after the rioting began due to the fact that so many people were around her and the area had been locked down,” the lawsuit reads. “Later, a neighbor who was unhappy that Roice attended the demonstration turned her into the authorities.”
The lawsuit goes on to say Roice and Baldwin exchanged direct messages about her presence in Washington, D.C. on that day. In one, Baldwin labels her a “rioter.”
“When I sent the $ for your late brother, out of real respect for his service to this country, I didn’t know you were a January 6th rioter,” Baldwin wrote.
Roice responded: “Protesting is perfectly legal in the country and I’ve already had my sit down with the FBI. Thanks, have a nice day!”
“I don’t think so,” Baldwin replied. “Your 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. I reposted your photo. Good luck.”
When Baldwin reposted the photo on Instagram, he called Roice “an insurrectionist” in the caption. The post has since been deleted.
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