Family of US marine killed in Afghanistan sue Alec Baldwin for $25 million

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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The family of a US Marine who was killed in Afghanistan is suing Alec Baldwin for $25 million, after they allege they were exposed to online vilification when the actor accused one of them of being involved in the January 6 Capitol riots.

A defamation lawsuit was filed on Friday in a New York court by Roice and Cheyenne McCollum, who live in Wyoming, and Jiennah McCollum who resides in San Diego, per The Mercury News.

Their earlier lawsuit was dismissed in May by a Wyoming judge, who said the court had no jurisdiction over New York city-based Baldwin.

Roice is the sister of Rylee McCollum, a US Marine who tragically lost his life in August 2021 during the US military's dramatic exit from Afghanistan, the New York Post reported. The 20-year-old was one of 13 marines killed by a suicide bomber outside of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

He left behind his pregnant wife, Jiennah McCollum, who gave birth several weeks after her later husband's death.

Upon learning of his death, Baldwin donated $5,000 to the late father's GoFundMe page and - according to the lawsuit - called the donation a "tribute to a fallen soldier."

The legal claims stem from a later interaction online between Baldwin and Rylee's sister, Roice.

The young woman had posted an image (which has since been deleted) to her Instagram that showed her appearing to participate in the January 6 insurrection - which involved a mob of protestors storming the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. after the Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

While Roice was not the woman pictured, Baldwin remembered Roice's name and recognized her as the sister of the deceased US Marine. The 64-year-old actor commented under the image: "Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister's husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit[?]"

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Credit: Instagram.com

The interaction then moved to Roice's direct messages on Instagram, according to the suit, with Baldwin allegedly writing to McCollum: "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."

Baldwin then reposted the image to his own account, which at that point was followed by over 2 million people. This led to Roice receiving vitriol from online trolls in less than an hour, with the lawsuit claiming Roice was subjected to "hostile, aggressive, hateful messages," per the New York Post.

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Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy

According to the lawsuit, Baldwin wrongfully identified Rylee's widow as a January 6 insurrectionist, despite her not even being in DC at the time. It also alleges that the 30 Rock actor did nothing to stop the onslaught of hatred directed toward the McCollum family.

"Baldwin's conduct was negligent and reckless as he should have known that making the allegations he did against Plaintiffs to his millions of followers would cause Plaintiffs harm," the lawsuit states, via the New York Post.

The Mercury News reported that the family is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages and court costs. They have also requested a jury trial.

Featured image credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Family of US marine killed in Afghanistan sue Alec Baldwin for $25 million

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

The family of a US Marine who was killed in Afghanistan is suing Alec Baldwin for $25 million, after they allege they were exposed to online vilification when the actor accused one of them of being involved in the January 6 Capitol riots.

A defamation lawsuit was filed on Friday in a New York court by Roice and Cheyenne McCollum, who live in Wyoming, and Jiennah McCollum who resides in San Diego, per The Mercury News.

Their earlier lawsuit was dismissed in May by a Wyoming judge, who said the court had no jurisdiction over New York city-based Baldwin.

Roice is the sister of Rylee McCollum, a US Marine who tragically lost his life in August 2021 during the US military's dramatic exit from Afghanistan, the New York Post reported. The 20-year-old was one of 13 marines killed by a suicide bomber outside of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

He left behind his pregnant wife, Jiennah McCollum, who gave birth several weeks after her later husband's death.

Upon learning of his death, Baldwin donated $5,000 to the late father's GoFundMe page and - according to the lawsuit - called the donation a "tribute to a fallen soldier."

The legal claims stem from a later interaction online between Baldwin and Rylee's sister, Roice.

The young woman had posted an image (which has since been deleted) to her Instagram that showed her appearing to participate in the January 6 insurrection - which involved a mob of protestors storming the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. after the Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

While Roice was not the woman pictured, Baldwin remembered Roice's name and recognized her as the sister of the deceased US Marine. The 64-year-old actor commented under the image: "Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister's husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit[?]"

wp-image-1263167227 size-full
Credit: Instagram.com

The interaction then moved to Roice's direct messages on Instagram, according to the suit, with Baldwin allegedly writing to McCollum: "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."

Baldwin then reposted the image to his own account, which at that point was followed by over 2 million people. This led to Roice receiving vitriol from online trolls in less than an hour, with the lawsuit claiming Roice was subjected to "hostile, aggressive, hateful messages," per the New York Post.

size-large wp-image-1263132225
Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy

According to the lawsuit, Baldwin wrongfully identified Rylee's widow as a January 6 insurrectionist, despite her not even being in DC at the time. It also alleges that the 30 Rock actor did nothing to stop the onslaught of hatred directed toward the McCollum family.

"Baldwin's conduct was negligent and reckless as he should have known that making the allegations he did against Plaintiffs to his millions of followers would cause Plaintiffs harm," the lawsuit states, via the New York Post.

The Mercury News reported that the family is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages and court costs. They have also requested a jury trial.

Featured image credit: Sipa US / Alamy