Newsdeck

Actress sues California man behind anti-Muslim film

By Reuters 20 September 2012

An actress in an anti-Islam film that triggered violent protests across the Muslim world sued a California man linked to its production on Wednesday for fraud and slander, saying she had received death threats after the video was posted on YouTube. By Alex Dobuzinskis.

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who also named Google Inc and its YouTube unit as defendants, asked that the film be removed from YouTube and said her right to privacy had been violated and her life endangered, among other allegations.

It was the first known civil lawsuit connected to the making of the film that has circulated online as a 13-minute trailer, including under the title “Innocence of Muslims.”

The film, which portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer and a fool, helped generate a torrent of violence across the Muslim world last week. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack in Benghazi. U.S. and other foreign embassies were stormed in cities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East by furious Muslims.

Garcia accused a producer of the movie, whom she identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula along with the alias Sam Bacile, of duping her into appearing in a “hateful” film that she had been led to believe was a simple desert adventure movie.

“There was no mention of ‘Mohammed’ during filming or on set. There were no references made to religion nor was there any sexual content of which Ms. Garcia was aware,” said the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is blasphemous. Caricatures deemed insulting in the past have provoked protests and drawn condemnation from officials, preachers, ordinary Muslims and many Christians.

“This lawsuit is not an attack on the First Amendment nor on the right for Americans to say what they think, but does request that the offending content be removed from the Internet,” the lawsuit said.

The suit accuses Nakoula, Google and YouTube of invasion of privacy, unfair business practices, the use of Garcia’s likeness without permission and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

A representative for Nakoula’s criminal attorney declined to comment on the lawsuit.

“We are reviewing the complaint and will be in court tomorrow,” said a Google spokesman. DM

Photo: Muslim demonstrators hold banners during a protest in front of the U.S. embassy in Bangkok September 18, 2012. Demonstrators staged a peaceful protest against the anti-Islam film on Tuesday. Around 300 anti-American protesters holding Muslim flags and banners condemned America and chanted “Allahu Akbar”, which means God is great. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

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Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?

Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.

Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.

*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.


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