The 63-year-old actor has been named in a lawsuit seeking USD 25 million and alleging defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to court documents obtained by Fox News.
The lawsuit stems from a post that Baldwin shared on Instagram earlier this month after he gave USD 5,000 to the widow of a fallen soldier to help her with their newborn daughter.
Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum was killed on August 26 in Kabul in a suicide bombing as he was processing refugees amid the United States’ controversial withdrawal from the country.
When the actor heard of McCollum’s story, he reached out to McCollumn’s sister, Roice, and gave her USD 5,000 to give to her brother’s widow, Jinnah Crayton. He later called the check a “tribute to a fallen soldier.” However, on January 3, Roice shared a photo on Instagram that clearly gave Baldwin second thoughts about his tribute.
The image showed her at the Washington Monument on the day of the insurrection in 2021. According to the lawsuit, Roice was indeed among the protestors who showed up at the march.
However, the court documents reveal that, while she was protesting the vote certification of Joe Biden that day, she did not take part in the rioting nor any unlawful activity.
“During the rioting, she was stuck in place outside the Capitol Building next to multiple police officers for hours after the rioting began due to the fact that so many people were around her and the area had been locked down. Later, a neighbor who was unhappy that Roice attended the demonstration turned her to the authorities,” the lawsuit states.
Roice was interviewed by the FBI and cleared of any wrongdoing. Despite never being charged with any crime, the documents showed direct messages between Roice and Baldwin in which he labeled her a “rioter.”
“When I sent the money 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 wrote.
Roice responded, “Protesting is perfectly legal in the country and I’ve already had my sit down with the FBI. Thanks, have a nice day!”
“I don’t think so. Your activities resulted in the unlawful destruction of government property, the death of a law enforcement officer, an assault on the certification of the presidential election. I reposted your photo. Good luck,” Baldwin replied.
He went on to repost the photo and call Roice an “insurrectionist” to his 2.4 million Instagram followers in a since-deleted post.
Roice, her sister Cheyenne and Jinnah have sued Baldwin over his direct message and the decision to share his belief that Roice took part in the rioting.
Roice and her family say they were inundated with hateful comments shortly after the post went public. The court documents offer examples of some of those comments, the most disturbing from someone who said, “Get raped and die, worthless c—. Your brother got what he deserved.”
The court documents allege that, rather than walk back his statements, Baldwin continued to label Roice an “insurrectionist” and “rioter” in subsequent comments engaging with critics.
“Baldwin’s conduct was negligent and reckless as he should have known that making the allegations, he did against plaintiffs to his millions of followers would cause plaintiffs harm,” the court documents state, as per Fox News.