Calif. Actress Sues Maker of Anti-Muslim Film

The woman claims the producer misrepresented the intent of the production

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Actress Cindy Lee Garcia is suing the maker of "Innocence of Muslims," saying he misrepresented the intent of the film that sparked rioting around the globe for its negative depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. Toni Guinyard reports for "Today in LA" on Sept. 20, 2012.

    A court hearing is expected on Thursday involving an actress who is suing the producer of the anti-Muslim film that sparked rioting across the globe for its negative characterizations of the founder of Islam.

    Cindy Lee Garcia, one of the actresses in "Innocence of Muslims," filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who also goes by the name Sam Bacile.

    She unsuccessfully sought a restraining order on Thursday against YouTube regarding the distribution of a film trailer that has sparked anti-American violence throughout the Muslim world.

    In her lawsuit, Garcia claims the filmmaker misrepresented the intent of the production.

    She said responded to a casting call in “Backstage” magazine for a movie called, “Desert Warrior,” a “historical Arabian desert adventure film.”

    Garcia said she has received threats, and has ongoing concerns for her safety after the video sparked violence across the Middle East.

    She said that there was no mention of Muhammad during filming or on the set and there were no references to religion nor sex.

    She said Bacile told her it was an adventure film “about ancient Egyptians.”

    When it was posted to YouTube on July 2, she said the movie was changed "grotesquely" to make it appear that Garcia voluntarily performed in a “hateful anti-Islamic production,” according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday.

    In her suit, Garcia also names Google Inc. and YouTube because the 13-minute film appeared on the Internet.

    The lawsuit alleges invasion of privacy, fraud, slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A representative for Google, which owns YouTube, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

    Garcia maintains she and other actors were tricked into appearing in the film without knowing its true theme.

    "Mr. Bacile represented to her that the film was indeed an adventure film about ancient Egyptians," the suit states.

    Instead, Garcia found herself involved in a different type of movie altogether and her life in danger, according to the complaint.

    "She has been subjected to credible death threats and is in fear of her life and the life and safety of anyone associated with her," the suit states.

    Garcia wants a permanent injunction removing the video from YouTube.

    Garcia has suffered severe emotional distress, financial setbacks and the "destruction of her career and reputation," according to the complaint.

    The film depicts the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as a child abuser and womanizer, sparking days of violent protests.

    Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Tripoli, was killed along with three other State Department employees Sept. 11 in an attack on the American Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi by a heavily armed force coinciding with a demonstration. He is believed to have died of smoke inhalation. An anti-American demonstration also took place Sept. 11 in Cairo, where the U.S. Embassy was breached but did not come under gunfire.