An actress featured in the incendiary
video “Innocence of Muslims” has filed suit against the movie’s producer as well
as YouTube, seeking to have the video removed as she claims fraud, invasion of
privacy, slader and violation of her right of publicty.
Cindy Lee Garcia, who came forward last week to
express dismay at the project that triggered protests throughout the Middle
East, filed her claim on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles.
Listed as defendant is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, also known as Sam Bacile,
identified as one of the producer of the film. Also named as defendants are
Google and YouTube.
She claims that in July of 2011, she responded
to a casting call in Backstage for a project called “Desert Warrior,” and that
Bacile “represented to her that the Film was indeed an adventure film and about
Given pages of the script for “Desert Warrior,”
her suit states that “there was no mention of ‘Mohammed’ during the filming or
on the set. There were no references made to religion nor was there any sexual
content of which Ms. Garcia was aware.”
Her suit also claims that her acting work “has
been changed grotesquely to make it appear that Ms. Garcia voluntarily performed
in a hateful anti-Islamic production. The Film is vile and
She also claims that the voices of her and her
castmates were dubbed into Arabic.
After the film set off violence and protests in
the Middle East, her suit said that she received death threats and that her
family, “fearing for their own safety, informed her that she was no longer
permitted to see her grandchildren, whom she previously babysat
She also said in her suit that she was fired
from her job, “in as much as she is now considered a target and the safety of
those in her presence cannot be guaranteed.”
She also said that she requested that YouTube
remove the film, but informed her in writing that they would decline to remove
Her claim for slander charges that statements
were literally “put in her mouth,” and that she “never called the founder of
Islam a child molester, either on the set of the Film or at any other place or
time.” In her claim of invasion of privacy, her suit states that the film was
made to appear as if “she made outrageously bigoted statements that she never
said and does not endorse.”
She is seeking unspecified damages and
Update: Cris Armenta, who is representing Garcia, said that is is “currently unknown” whether there is a contract that her client signed, but she suggested that it would essentially be irrelevant to the claim. “I don’t care how broad it is,” she said. “Our view is it was induced by fraud.”
She said that they have served the suit on Nakoula’s criminal defense attorney, his federal probation officer and taped it to the front door of his home, although not him personally.
Garcia is also represented by Credence Sol, a civil litigator in France.
They will be seeking a temporary restraining order at a hearing on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.