Family of US Marine killed in Afghanistan files $25 million lawsuit against Alec Baldwin, claiming the actor accused them of being insurrectionists on Instagram
- The family of a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan filed a defamation suit against Alec Baldwin.
- Rylee McCollum's relatives said Baldwin accused them on Instagram of being Capitol insurrectionists.
- His sister was in Washington, DC, during the riot but never entered the Capitol, the lawsuit said.
The family of a US Marine who was killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan over the summer has filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against Alec Baldwin, saying the actor accused them on Instagram of being insurrectionists after he learned the Marine's sister was in Washington, DC, during the riot on January 6, 2021.
Relatives of Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, who was 20, said in the lawsuit that Baldwin's comments about the family on the social-media platform "were false, outrageous, defamatory, irresponsible, vindictive, and caused — and continue to cause — Plaintiffs severe emotional distress."
McCollum was among the 13 US service members killed in the attack at the Kabul airport on August 26 as troops withdrew from Afghanistan.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday in the US District Court for the District of Wyoming by McCollum's two sisters, Roice and Cheyenne McCollum, and his widow, Jiennah McCollum, alleged Baldwin defamed the family to his 2.4 million Instagram followers.
Baldwin donated $5,000 to the Marine's widow and her newborn daughter "as a tribute to a fallen soldier" after Rylee McCollum's death, the court papers said.
But on January 3, Baldwin posted about Roice McCollum after she shared a "throwback" photo of a crowd of pro-Trump protesters in front of the Washington Monument on January 6, 2021, "in anticipation" of the anniversary of the Capitol riot, the suit said.
"Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister's husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?" Baldwin's account commented on Roice McCollum's Instagram post .
The suit said Baldwin then privately messaged her and accused her of being an "insurrectionist" and told her to "own it."
"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 messaged Roice McCollum, the lawsuit said.
The suit said she replied, "Protesting is perfectly legal in the country and I've already had my sit down with the FBI. Thanks, have a nice day!"
The lawsuit said she attended the rally on January 6, 2021, in a "peaceful, law-abiding manner."
Neither Cheyenne nor Jiennah McCollum were in Washington on the day of the Capitol riot, the suit said.
The lawsuit alleged that Baldwin messaged Roice McCollum: "I reposted your photo. Good luck." It added that he then shared a post on his Instagram account calling claims that people were at the Capitol peacefully "bullshit" and saying he donated money to a soldier who died in Afghanistan. "Then I find this. Truth is stranger than fiction," he wrote, the lawsuit said.
An attorney for Baldwin did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider on Wednesday.
The McCollums' lawsuit alleged that Roice got "hostile, aggressive, hateful messages from Baldwin's followers" within minutes of the post, including one message telling her to "get raped and die."
The McCollums said Baldwin "continued to engage his followers" and alleged he "fueled firestorm of hatred that he started."
The family members accused Baldwin of defamation, invasion of privacy, and negligence. They are seeking at least $25 million in damages, according to the lawsuit.Read the original article on Insider