Defendant Alec Baldwin is being sued again by the widow and sisters of a US Marine killed in Afghanistan during the chaotic 2021 military departure. They claim the actor exposed them to online vitriol following accusations he made against one of the women. They are seeking at least $25 million in damages.
According to the New York Post, an initial complaint was filed by the family in Wyoming, but it was dismissed in May because the court has no jurisdiction over Baldwin, who is a resident of New York. A second complaint was filed by the family last Friday in the Southern District of New York seeking $25 million in damages, claiming Roice McCollum was verbally abused by Alec Baldwin’s fans when he accused her of being an “insurgent” during the Jan. 6 riots.
Last summer, during the U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan, McCollum, 20, was one of the 13 American service members who were killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul. Baldwin allegedly reached out to McCollum’s sister, Roice, on Instagram and donated $5,000 to the family’s fundraiser page to be donated to his widow in what he considered as a “tribute for a fallen soldier,” the suit says, as reported by Fox News.
The 30 Rock star and Roice argued publicly in January 2022 after she posted a photo featuring her attending a protest near the Washington Monument on Jan 6, 2021, prior to the first anniversary of the Capitol Hill Riot. The post led Baldwin to send her a message: “Are you the same woman I sent the $ for your sister’s husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?”
According to the suit, he also messaged her directly, stating, “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.” Roice McCollum replied back, “Protesting is perfectly legal in the country and I’ve already had my sit down with the FBI. Thanks, have a nice day!”
“I don’t think so,” Baldwin said. “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.” On his Instagram account, which has 2.4 million followers, he republished the photo of Roice noting her involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, protests, according to the complaint.
According to the lawsuit, it took only 20 minutes after the publication of the photo for Roice to receive “hostile, aggressive and hateful messages” from Baldwin’s fans. A comment he posted on Instagram misidentified Jiennah as an insurgent, despite her not being in Washington that day, according to the suit. Per the lawsuit, Jiennah, Roice and her sister Cheyenne received messages from Instagram users comparing them to Nazis and accusing them of being white supremacists. Many requested that she return the $5,000 she was given by Baldwin.
The family members have requested a jury trial and are seeking damages of at least $25 million.