Judge Denies Request to Take Anti-Islam Film Off YouTube
Cindy Lee Garcia, one of the actresses in "Innocence of Islam," is suing the producer of the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (CNN / September 20, 2012)
The judge rejected the request from Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress who appears in the clip, in part because the filmmaker wasn't served with a copy of the lawsuit.
On Wednesday, Garcia filed a lawsuit against Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man behind the movie, claiming she's a victim of fraud, invasion of privacy and misappropriation of her likeness.
In a 17-page complaint, the lawsuit from Garcia also names YouTube LLC and its parent company, Google Inc., as causing irreparable harm for refusing to remove the content from their site.
Garcia claims that she and her family have been threatened and her career has been damaged since the 14-minute trailer for the film surfaced.
"Emotionally, I am very disturbed," Garcia said outside court on Thursday. "My whole life has been turned upside down in every aspect," she added.
She said that she has received death threats, and she can't visit her grandchildren for fear that they might be harmed.
Garcia claims that she was duped by Nakoula and was shocked when she saw the final product.
She says the script she saw never referenced Muslims or the Prophet Muhammad.
Garcia says she had been unaware that her voice was dubbed, but the lawsuit alleges even further voice-over alterations of her on-camera dialogue.
The producers' representations that he "intended to make an 'adventure film' and that plaintiff would be depicted as a concerned mother, were false," the suit claims.
"Defendant ... made an anti-Islam propaganda film, in which plaintiff is falsely made to appear to accuse the founder of the Islamic religion of being a sexual deviant and child molester," the suit says.
On Wednesday, 79 cast and crew members released a statement saying they were "extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer."
They said they were "shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved."
In her suit, Garcia seeks compensatory and punitive damages against Nakoula for invasion of privacy, fraud, negligence, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
According to the suit, YouTube informed Garcia privately that it would not voluntarily remove the film.
Garcia's complaint says that keeping it online violates her privacy rights and that the post-filming dialogue changes cast her in a false light.
"(Garcia) had a legally protected interest in her privacy and the right to be free from having hateful words put in her mouth or being depicted as a bigot," the lawsuit states.
It remains unclear who uploaded the trailer to YouTube.
The clip has been linked to protests that have killed at least 30 people in seven countries, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.