Friday saw the re-filing of a defamation lawsuit against actor Alec Baldwin in New York by Rylee J. McCollum’s family.
Jiennah McCollum, Rylee’s widow, and Roice and Cheyenne McCollum, her sisters, have filed a lawsuit asking for $25,000,000 in damages. They claim that Baldwin has made false accusations against them, such as labeling Roice McCollum a “insurrectionist” in January 2022 because she shared a photo of protesters in Washington, DC from January 6, 2021 on social media.
Even though she was there on January 6th, Roice “did not take part in, nor did she support or condone the rioting that erupted,” as the lawsuit puts it. Baldwin “plainly ignored Roice’s denial of rioting” and her claim that the FBI “cleared her for participating in any of the conduct Baldwin chose to falsely attribute to her via his massive following.”
In January, the sisters and widow sued Baldwin in a similar fashion in Wyoming. In May, the lawsuit was thrown out by a federal judge who decided that, as a New York resident, Baldwin did not fall under the court’s jurisdiction.
Baldwin’s lawyer at the time, Luke Nikas, was pleased with the verdict. He claimed that the lawsuit was filed to “punish Mr. Baldwin for expressing his political opinion.”
The re-filed lawsuit reiterates the original claims that the plaintiffs suffered significant emotional harm as a result of Baldwin’s remarks.
“Mr. Baldwin gave Ms. McCollum a few thousand dollars in honor of her late husband, and now she’s suing him for more money because she doesn’t agree with his political stance on the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building. The last time they tried this, we beat them in court “Nikas stated to CNN on Wednesday.
In August of last year, as the United States and its Western allies rushed to evacuate their citizens and allies from Afghanistan, an attack outside the Kabul airport killed 13 American service members, including 20-year-old Rylee McCollum.
After Rylee passed away, his wife Jiennah and their child benefited from an online fundraising campaign. According to the complaint, Baldwin sent Roice a $5,000 check as “a tribute to a fallen soldier,” which she then split with Jiennah.
The suit claims that Baldwin commented on Roice’s Instagram post with the question, “Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister’s husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?” after Roice posted photos of protesters in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 on January 3 “in anticipation of the January 6, 2022, one year anniversary of her attendance.”
In spite of the allegations made in the lawsuit, Roice “was never detained, arrested, charged with or convicted of any crime associated with her attendance at the January 6, 2021, event in Washington, DC,” the plaintiff claims.
As stated in the lawsuit, her response to Baldwin was, “I’ve had a chat with the FBI and know that protesting is legal here. Thank you, and have a good day!”
According to the complaint, Baldwin shot back with, “My gut tells me no. Because of your actions, government property was illegally destroyed, a police officer was killed, and the presidential election certification was threatened. You can find your picture here, which I re-posted. I wish you all the best.”
According to the complaint, Roice’s “Instagram feed” was flooded with “hostile, aggressive, hateful messages” from Baldwin’s fans roughly 20 minutes after the initial post.
To his own Instagram, Baldwin added the now-deleted message, “Many Trump supporters have recently argued that the assault on the Capitol was merely a protest (a more peaceful version of which resulted in the imprisonment of many other protestors) and a demonstration of support for democracy. That’s utter nonsense.”
Screenshots of his further post that were included in the lawsuit read, “I looked into the matter thoroughly. I discovered that Roice McCollum’s brother was among those “killed” in Kabul, Afghanistan. I learned this through Instagram.
“For the sake of her brother’s widow and their child, I offered to send some money to Jiennah McCollum, her sister-in-law. This is exactly what I did. In honor of the slain soldier. Now I come across this. Some of life’s most bizarre moments actually occurred “an addition to his post.
According to the lawsuit, Baldwin “unequivocally understood that by forwarding Roice’s Instagram feed to 2.4 million like-minded followers and posting his commentary would result in the onslaught of threats and hatred that it did.”
The suit claims that hours after Baldwin’s post, “hateful messages and even death threats” were sent to Lance’s other sister, Cheyenne, and his widow, Jiennah.
On January 6, 2021, “neither Cheyenne nor Jiennah” were in the nation’s capital “that is what the lawsuit asserts.