The turmoil surrounding Sam Bacile’s controversial film The Innocence of Muslims shows no signs of abating. The film's trailer, which reportedly sparked riots in the Middle East, has now also inspired a lawsuit from one of the actresses featured in the title.
Cindy Lee Garcia, who performed in the film, has filed suit against Bacile (also known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula) and YouTube claiming emotional distress, invasion of privacy, false light, fraud, slander and more.
Garcia claims she lost her job, received death threats, and has been deemed unsafe to babysit her grandchildren after an extended trailer for the film hit YouTube. She also claims that Bacile assured her the title was a “historical Arabian desert adventure film” – and not an offensive anti-Islam movie – when she answered his casting call. She asserts that the original script was called Desert Warriors and made no mention of the Prophet Mohammed.
Garcia contacted YouTube owner Google to request that the video be removed, but the YouTube team declined the request – and thus, a lawsuit was born. The actress hopes to get an injunction permanently removing the extended trailer from the site as well as money for damages.
Earlier this week, fellow Innocence of Muslims actress Anna Gurji took to Neil Gaiman’s blog to explain how she wound up in the film. Gurji’s story supports Garcia’s claims as far as the content goes – Gurji reports that she was told the film was about “a tribe of ancient Egyptians fighting to acquire a fallen comet.”
We have no idea how this will all play out in the courts, but we’ll keep you posted.
[via The Wrap]
Update: THR reports that a judge has denied Ms. Garcia's request to have the video removed from YouTube. Do you agree with the ruling?