The widow and sisters of a US marine killed in Afghanistan during the military’s chaotic departure from the country in 2021 are again suing actor Alec Baldwin for at least $25 million, claiming he exposed them to online vitriol after the actor accused one of the women of being a Jan. 6 insurrectionist.
The federal suit was filed in the Southern District of New York on Friday by the family of Marine Lance Corporal Rylee J. McCollum, who was one of 13 marines killed by a suicide bomber outside of the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26, 2021. He was 20 years old.
After McCollum’s death, Baldwin found one of the Marine’s sisters, Roice, on Instagram and sent her a check for $5,000 for his widow, Jiennah, and her newborn baby. Baldwin said the check was a “tribute to a fallen soldier,’ according to the lawsuit.
Months later in January 2022, the “30 Rock” star got in a public spat with Roice after she posted a photo of herself attending a protest near the Washington Monument on Jan. 6, 2021 ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Capitol Hill riot.
In response, Baldwin accused her of participating in the riots and called her an “insurrectionist.”
His “seemingly benevolent overtures turned into a nightmare,” for the McCollum family, the suit alleges.
“Are you the same woman I sent the $ for your sister’s husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?” Baldwin wrote on Roice’s Instagram post from his account, according to the complaint.
He also allegedly sent her a direct message.
“When I sent the $ for your late brother, out of real respect for his service to this country, I didn’t know you were a January 6th rioter,” the actor wrote, according to the suit.
“Protesting is perfectly legal in the country and I’ve already had my sit down with the FBI. Thanks, have a nice day!” Roice shot back.
“I don’t think so,” Baldwin responded. “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.”
He reposted Roice’s photo on his Instagram account, which has 2.4 million followers, mentioning her involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, protests, according to the complaint.
Within 20 minutes of reposting the photo, Roice received “hostile, aggressive, hateful messages” from Baldwin’s fans, the suit claims.
He additionally misidentified Jiennah as an insurrectionist in an Instagram comment, although she was not in DC that day, according to the lawsuit.
Jiennah, Roice and her sister Cheyenne received messages from Instagram users accusing them of being white supremacists, and likening them to Nazis, the suit says. Some demanded that she give Baldwin back the $5,000 he had given her.
The family alleges that Baldwin did nothing to stop his millions of followers from contacting them.
“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 suit states.
Reps for Baldwin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is the second lawsuit the plaintiffs — McCollum’s sisters, Roice and Cheyenne, and his widow, Jiennah — have filed against Baldwin. They filed a similar lawsuit against him in January in Wyoming, where Roice and Cheyenne live. Jiennah currently lives in California.
The suit was dismissed in May after a Wyoming judge said she had no jurisdiction over Baldwin, who lives in New York.
The family members have demanded a trial by jury and are seeking damages of at least $25 million for alleged invasion of privacy, defamation negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.