Actor Alec Baldwin is facing a defamation lawsuit after he accused a woman of being an "insurrectionist" and claimed that she attended the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 last year, which she denies, the New York Post reports.
Earlier this year, Baldwin contacted Roice McCollum after hearing about the death of her brother, a Marine who died along with a dozen American service members in Afghanistan after a suicide bomb detonated at Kabul airport in August. Baldwin eventually sent her a check for $5,000 to go to her brother's widow and their newborn child.
According to the complaint filed in federal court on Monday, earlier this month an Instagram account belonging to Baldwin commented on a post that McCollum made showing herself at the Washington Monument asking, "Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister’s husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit."
McCollum later reportedly received a private message from the same account saying, "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."
McCollum said in reply that while she did attend a rally in support of former President Donald Trump, she did not participate in the attack on the Capitol. She also noted that she had already been interviewed by the FBI. McCollum has not been accused by law enforcement of taking part in the Capitol riot and does not face any charges in connection with the incident, according to the Post.
"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," Baldwin wrote in response, according to the complaint. He also allegedly referred to McCollum as an "insurrectionist" multiple times in comments.
Baldwin’s account later posted a photo of McCollum and dismissed her claims of taking part in a nonviolent protest. McCollum’s complaint claims that after Baldwin posted her photo, she began to receive "hostile, aggressive, hateful" messages from the actor’s followers.
McCollum, her sisters, and her brother’s widow have filed a lawsuit against Baldwin for $25 million in damages alleging defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
A representative for Baldwin did not immediately respond to the Post’s requests for comment.
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