Fallen Wyoming Marine’s Family Sues Alec Baldwin For $25M
The family of a Wyoming Marine who was killed in a suicide bombing last year has sued actor Alec Baldwin for $25 million over posts on social media.
LCpl Rylee McCollum was killed in Afghanistan on August 26 when a suicide bomber attacked his unit. His sisters and widow are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Following McCollum's death, family members created a GoFundMe for his widow and soon-to-be-born child. Baldwin apparently became aware of the GoFundMe and sent McCollum's sister a check for $5,000 which he called "a tribute to a fallen soldier."
The lawsuit states McCollum's sister posted a photo of a crowd of demonstrators at the Washington Monument in anticipation of the January 6, 2021 anniversary. His sister was present at the demonstration but did not partake in the riots.
An FBI investigation cleared her of any wrongdoing, according to the lawsuit.
"On January 3, Baldwin's seemingly benevolent overtures turned into a nightmare for the McCollum family when Baldwin went on a rant about LCpl. McCollum's sister (...)," the lawsuit states.
Seeing the Instagram post, Baldwin commented "Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister's husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?"
The following exchange between Baldwin and McCollum's sister ensued over direct messages:
Baldwin: "When I sent you the $ for your late brother, out of real respect for his service to our country, I didn't know you were a January 6 rioter.
Sister: "Protesting is perfectly legal in the country and I've already had my sitdown with the FBI. Thanks, have a nice day!"
Baldwin: "I don't think so. Your activities resulted in the unlawful destruction of goverment property, the death of a law enforcement officer, an assault on the certification of the presidential election. I reposted your photo. Good luck."
The suit claims within 20 minutes of Baldwin's reposting McCollum's sister's post at the Capitol, McCollum's sister began to get hostile, aggressive and hateful messages from Baldwin's followers.
Examples of messages McCollum's sister received include, "Get raped and die, worthless c***. Your brother got what he deserved," and "Your brother fought for oil. #hopethishelps."
According to the suit, Baldwin should have known better than to expose a private person to his 2.4 million Instagram followers.
In a public reply to McCollum's sister, Baldwin wrote the following:
"Irony was my point. The irony of sincerly wanting to honor your brother and the fact that you are in [sic] insurrectionist. Irony: 'the use of word [sic] that mean the opposite of what you really think in order to be funny.' (Merriam Webster)."
"Baldwin's comments were false, outrageous, defamatory, irresponsible, vindictive and caused — and continue to cause — plaintiffs severe emotional distress," the lawsuit states. "Instead of being able to focus on grieving LCpl. McCollum's death and raising his newborn daughter, plaintiffs and their family are now fearful for their lives. Plaintiffs have suffered from headaches, nausea, inability to sleep, severe anxiety, severe mental distress, fear for their lives and the life of (redacted), and continue to suffer as a result of Baldwin's conduct."