Cindy Lee Garcia, Actress in Anti-Muslim Film, Wants Video Removed from YouTube
(CN) - An actress wants Google to remove from YouTube the film that incited global riots and the assassination of an American ambassador in Libya, claiming the filmmaker tricked her into appearing in the "hateful anti-Islamic production."
In her lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, Cindy Lee Garcia claims filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, using the alias "Sam Bacile," put out a casting call for a film called "Desert Warrior," which was "represented to be an 'historical Arabian Desert adventure film.'"
She says Bacile and other producers "intentionally concealed the purpose and content of the film."
"Ms. Garcia was given pages of the script 'Desert Warrior,'" the lawsuit states. "There was no mention of 'Mohammed' during filming or on the set. There were no references made to religion nor was there any sexual content of which Ms. Garcia was aware. Mr. Bacile represented to her that the film was indeed an adventure film and about ancient Egyptians." She says she agreed to act in the film based on Nakoula's representations.
On July 2, Nakoula posted a short trailer on YouTube titled "The Innocence of Muslims," parodying the Prophet Muhammad. The voices of Garcia and her fellow actors were dubbed in Arabic, according to the lawsuit.
"The film includes plaintiff's acting work from 'Desert Warriors' and has been grotesquely changed to make it appear that Ms. Garcia voluntarily performed in a hateful anti-Islamic production," Garcia claims.
The American-made video, about 14 minutes long, incited anti-American riots in more than 20 countries and triggered the assassination of four embassy officials in Libya, including American Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
At least 28 people have been killed in the unrest, according to The New York Times.
Garcia calls the film "vile and reprehensible," and says she was unaware of its true content during filming. She claims that she "never called the founder of Islam a child molester," and that Nakoula put words in her mouth that have caused her to be viewed as a religious bigot.
Because of the film, Garcia has been "embarrassed and humiliated," and she "reasonably fears that she will be shunned, avoided and subjected to ridicule," the complaint states.
"This lawsuit is not an attack on the First Amendment nor on the right for Americans to say what they think, but does request that the offending content be removed from the internet," Garcia says.
She claims she has since been terrorized by "credible death threats," and was barred from seeing her grandchildren for fear of their safety. She was also fired from her job, "as she is now considered a target and the safety of those in her presence cannot be guaranteed," the lawsuit states.
Garcia is also suing YouTube and Google, claiming they refused to remove the video from the internet.
She wants a court order forcing the defendants to remove the video, plus exemplary and punitive damages for invasion of privacy, false light invasion of privacy, violation of publicity rights, fraud, unfair business practices, slander and intentional infliction of emotion distress. Her attorney is M. Cris Armenta of Los Angeles.