(CNN) — Actor Alec Baldwin was sued for defamation and negligence by the family of a Marine who died last year during a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to the suit filed Monday in the US District Court for the District from Wyoming.
The Sisters and the Soldier’s Widow Lance Corporal Rylee J. McCollum They are asking for $25 million plus the cost of legal fees, according to the court file. Lance was killed during a suicide bomb attack on August 26 in Kabul, Afghanistan, the suit says.
After McCollum’s death in August, his widow, Jiennah McCollum, opened a GoFundMe account for her “and their soon-to-be-born daughter,” the suit says. Baldwin found out about the GoFundMe account and sent a check for $5,000 to Lance’s sister, Roice McCollum, to give to Jiennah.
On Jan. 3, Roice “posted a photo of a crowd of protesters at the Washington Monument on his Instagram page prior to Jan. 6, 2022, the first anniversary of his attendance at the City of Washington,” the suit says.
Baldwin saw her post and began messaging Roice on Instagram, the lawsuit says.
“When I sent the $ for your late brother, out of true respect for his service to this country, I did not know you were a January 6th agitator,” Baldwin said, according to the lawsuit.
Roice “was never detained, arrested, charged or convicted of any crime associated with her attendance at the event on January 6, 2021 in the city of Washington,” the suit says.
She responded to Baldwin and said, “Protesting is perfectly legal in the country and I’ve already talked to the FBI. Thanks, have a nice day!”
Baldwin responded, saying, “I don’t think so. His activities resulted in the unlawful destruction of government property, the death of a law enforcement officer, an assault on presidential election certification. I reposted your photo. Good luck.” .
CNN has reached out to Baldwin’s attorney for comment.
Approximately 20 minutes after Baldwin posted Roice’s “Instagram feed,” she “began receiving hostile, aggressive and hateful messages from Baldwin’s followers,” the suit alleges.
Baldwin’s Instagram post that he later deleted read: “Many Trumpsters argue here with the whimper that the attack on Capitol Hill was a protest (a more peaceful way of the one that got many other protesters jailed) and an exercise in democracy.” .That’s s*****.”
Her post continued as follows: “I did some research. I found out on IG that this woman [Roice McCollum] is the sister (sic) of one of the men who was killed” in Kabul, Afghanistan. “I offered to send her sister-in-law [Jiennah McCollum] some $ as a tribute to his late brother, his widow and his son. Which I did. As a tribute to a fallen soldier. Then I found this. Truth is stranger than fiction.”
The suit says Baldwin “unequivocally understood that forwarding Roice’s Instagram feed to 2.4 million like-minded followers and posting her comment would result in the spate of threats and hate it provoked.”
Hours after Baldwin’s post, Lance’s other sister, Cheyenne, and his widow, Jiennah, began receiving “hateful messages and even death threats.”
“Neither Cheyenne nor Jiennah” were in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, the suit says.
Jiennah received a message Thursday calling her a “racist,” according to one of the family’s attorneys, Dennis Postiglione. Jiennah is black, Postiglione said in a phone call.
“I gratefully supported the gofundme campaign without knowing that the woman I addressed is an insurgent. I think that’s…remarkable,” Baldwin said, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says Baldwin is “well aware” of the weight of his fame and notoriety.
This is not his only legal battle
Last month, a search warrant was issued for actor Alec Baldwin’s cell phone in connection with the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust,”” CNN previously reported. Baldwin previously said, “I would never aim with a gun to anyone and then pull the trigger, never.
The family is asking for a jury trial, according to the lawsuit.
CNN’s Chloe Melas contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism