Alec Baldwin Responds To Fallen Wyoming Marine Family’s Lawsuit
Through his attorneys, famous actor Alec Baldwin has responded to a federal lawsuit the family of a fallen Wyoming Marine filed against him earlier this year.
"This case is not about whether Lance Corporal Rylee McCollum is an American hero. He clearly is. It is not about whether the McCollum family has sacrificed for our country. They clearly have. Nor is this case a vehicle for creating new rules at the intersection of social media and political discussion," Baldwin's attorneys write in a motion to dismiss.
Instead, they continue, Baldwin was expressing a widely held, bipartisan opinion that the events on January 6, 2021, were an insurrection.
Baldwin was struck by the irony that his tribute to a fallen Marine, a patriot, was coordinated by an individual who participated in an event that — in Baldwin's and many other people's opinion — was an assault on the core of American democracy.
In January, Rylee McCollum's sisters and his widow sued Baldwin following a spat on the social media platform Instagram. Roice McCollum, Jennah McCollum and Cheyenne McCollum each claimed that defamed them following the online dispute.
They each further claimed as a result of some of Baldwin's social media posts, they began receiving online harassment up to death threats.
The back and forth between Roice McCollum and Baldwin began after Roice McCollum posted a picture of herself at the January 6, 2021 events in Washington, D.C. around the event's anniversary.
After Rylee McCollum was killed in an August bombing in Afghanistan, he reached out to Roice McCollum via Instagram to donate to a GoFundMe fundraiser she was conducting. Baldwin privately donated $5,000.
Following Roice McCollum's anniversary post, Baldwin sent Roice McCollum a private message on Instagram asking, "Aren't you the woman that I sent the $ to for your sister's husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?"
"[...] Baldwin was struck by the irony that his tribute to a fallen Marine, a patriot, was coordinated by an individual who participated in an event that — in Baldwin's and many other people's opinion — was an assault on the core of American democracy," a court filing states.
The recent filing continues: "The real irony here is that Roice is suing Baldwin for expressing his widely supported opinion about January 6, when Roice had written to him moments before that her participation at January 6 — an event that promoted the false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen — constitutes the 'freedom of protest.'"
Baldwin's attorneys further note that he never said Roice McCollum was a "rioter." Instead, that exchange occurred in a private message.
Also at issue is that Baldwin has no ties to Wyoming. Merely attacking a Wyoming resident also does not constitute defamation, his attorneys write.
Wyoming Responds: Was January 6 an Insurrection or an Inconvenience?