Cindy Lee Garcia Sues Google, Innocence of Muslims' Maker
Cindy Lee Garcia.
Innocence of Muslims / Facebook
Cindy Lee Garcia, made famous after Gawker tracked her down and got from the actress that she felt duped into performing in the controversial Innocence of Muslims film, is suing the producer and Google, parent of YouTube.
The filing, made yesterday in L.A. Superior Court and forwarded to the Weekly, claims that producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula "intentionally concealed the purpose and content of the film," which was at first billed as an "Arabian Desert adventure film" and not the anti-Islamic propaganda it would become this summer.
The suit says there was no mention of Mohammad or the sexuality in the film, which portrays the prophet as a womanizer and "bastard." (Some of the dialogue is dubbed over).
The final cut was "changed grotesquely" to appease an anti-Muslim view, says the claim.
In the YouTube trailer Garcia plays the mother of a girl molested by Mohammad, a role the suit says was not represented to her at the onset:
... Plaintiff has never called the founder of Islam a child molester.
The suit says that after the film was posted to YouTube and a global furor erupted -- the American ambassador to Libya was killed along with three other Americans in an attack attributed in part to Arab rage over the YouTube version -- Garcia lost her job and received "credible death threats."
Garcia claims identity fraud, a breach of privacy, and emotional distress. The suit says she has suffered hits to her reputation and as well as to potential business opportunities.
The claim alleges that Google has some responsibility for hosting such a "fraudulent" film:
This lawsuit is not an attack on the First Amendment nor the right for Americans to say what they think, but does request that the offending content be removed from the Internet.
The document says a claim of "substantial damages" is still to come.
Of course, Garcia did sign up for a D-movie alongside at least one porn star, a project that was reportedly directed by a soft-porn veteran. The question is how much license the film's makers had in changing her words and whether she can collect damages for a twisted portrayal when, in fact, she is a professional actress.
Google's not one to roll over easily, either. This could actually be an interesting case.