Los Angeles News

Actress loses legal effort to take anti-Muslim film down

Thursday, September 20, 2012

An actress who appeared in an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in several countries around the world lost her bid to have the trailer taken down from YouTube.

From actress to plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia claims she was duped.

"It is a horrible thing that they put on. It had nothing to do with anything that was filmed," Garcia said outside the courthouse.

She says signed on to play in a Desert Warrior film only to discover months later that her words had been dubbed over -- and the story twisted into an anti-Muslim propaganda tool.

Garcia claims the filmmaker defrauded and defamed her. Her aim in court was to demand YouTube and its owner Google remove the clip that has incited anti-American riots across the Muslim world, leading to the death of an American ambassador and staff.

"I am a moral woman. I want it off of there. It is degrading, demoralizing and it affected our country," Garcia said.

She said Sam Bacile, aka Nakoula Bassely Nakoula who is now in hiding, had bragged that he authored the film. When she asked him why he made the film, she said he responded, "Tell them the writer did this because he was tired to radical Muslims killing innocent people."

But in court, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin rejected the claim, siding with an attorney for Google who cited freedom of speech rights. The attorney said YouTube is a platform for debate, even if the content of some speech may be reprehensible.

"I think America needs to stand behind us on this and take it off of YouTube," Garcia said. "Yes, we have the right to freedom of speech, but what he did was wrong."

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has refused requests to remove the film by both Garcia and the White House. However, the company has blocked users in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt from viewing the clip as well as Indonesia and India because it violates laws in those countries.

The judge said he had other problems with the claim. Nakoula could not be served with the lawsuit, since he is in hiding. Also, Garcia had claimed a breach of contract, but she was unable to produce any documents at all.

Garcia's attorney, Cris Armenta, told reporters that her client plans to return to court in three weeks with more evidence to bolster her case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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legal, los angeles news, miriam hernandez
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