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Actress files lawsuit against Producer of anti-Islamic film
Actress Cindy Lee Garcia has sued the maker of “Innocence of Muslims,” saying he misrepresented the intent of the film that sparked anger around the globe for its negative depiction of the noble Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The actress requested the Los Angeles Supreme Court for a temporary restraining order against YouTube and Google regarding the distribution of a film trailer.
Garcia says she and her family have received death threats and her career damaged since the 14-minute trailer for “Innocence of Muslims” surfaced.
Garcia says she was duped by the man behind the clip and that neither anti-Muslim content nor the name of Prophet Muhammad were mentioned in the script for the film she thought she was making.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man behind the trailer, has gone into hiding.
In her lawsuit, Garcia claims the filmmaker misrepresented the intent of the production. She said she responded to a casting call in “Backstage” magazine for a movie called “Desert Warrior,: a “historical Arabian desert adventure film.”
Garcia said she has received threats and has ongoing concerns for her safety after the video sparked violence across the Middle East. She said that there was no mention of the Prophet Muhammad during filming or on the set and there were no references to religion. She said Bacile told her it was an adventure film “about ancient Egyptians.”
When it was posted to YouTube on July 2, Garcia said the movie was changed “grotesquely” to make it appear that Garcia voluntarily performed in a “hateful anti-Islamic production,” according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday.
In her suit, Garcia also names Google Inc. and YouTube because the film appeared on the Internet. The lawsuit alleges invasion of privacy, fraud, slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Garcia maintains she and other actors were tricked into appearing in the film without knowing its true theme.
” Bacile represented to her that the film was indeed an adventure film about ancient Egyptians,” the suit states.
Instead, Garcia found herself involved in a different type of movie altogether and her life in danger, according to the complaint.
“She has been subjected to credible death threats and is in fear of her life and the life and safety of anyone associated with her,” the suit states.
Garcia wants a permanent injunction removing the video from YouTube. Garcia has suffered severe emotional distress, financial setbacks and the “destruction of her career and reputation,” according to the complaint.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s prosecutor general referred seven Egyptians Christians living in the United States and Florida-based Pastor Terry Jones to court for trial on charges that they offended Islam in connection with an anti-Muslim film.
The seven Egyptians — identified by state media as Morris Sadek, Morkos Aziz Khalil, Fekry Abdelmessieh, Nabil Adib Bassida, Nahed Metwally, Nader Farid Nicola and Elia Bassily, who is also known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula — were also accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad, inciting sectarian strife in Egypt and threatening the country’s independence and peace, according to a state-run news agency.
The prosecutor general requested that the eight defendants be arrested by Interpol and handed over to Egyptian authorities.