An actress in a movie trailer “Innocence of Muslims” posted on Google Inc.’s YouTube sued the filmmaker and the search engine company, saying she was misled into participating in a “reprehensible” anti-Islamic film.
Cindy Lee Garcia said in a complaint filed today in California state court in Los Angeles that she was cast in a film titled “Desert Warrior” and that filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who used the name Sam Bacile, told her that it was an adventure film about ancient Egyptians. There was no mention of Mohammed or reference to religion, Garcia said.
The 14-minute trailer shows a fictional attack by Muslims on a Christian family, followed by an account of the origins of Islam depicting Mohammed as a womanizer. YouTube blocked access to the clip in Egypt and Libya following attacks on the U.S. missions in those countries. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three embassy employees were killed Sept. 11.
“The film is vile and reprehensible,” Garcia said in the complaint. “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 actress, whose voice and those of the other actors was dubbed in Arabic on the YouTube clip, received death threats, she said. YouTube declined her request to remove the clip from the Internet, she said.
Steven Seiden, a lawyer for Nakoula, didn’t immediately return a call to his office.
YouTube said in an e-mailed statement the company is reviewing the complaint.
The case is Cindy Lee Garcia v. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, BC492358, California Superior Court, County of Los Angeles (Los Angeles).