Slain Marine's family sues Alec Baldwin for $25 million

BALDWIN
Actor Alec Baldwin is being sued by the family of a fallen Marine for $25 million. Photo credit Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic

Actor Alec Baldwin is being sued for $25 million by the family of a U.S. Marine killed in a suicide bombing last year in Afghanistan.

The suit was filed in federal court Monday by the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, of Wyoming, who was was killed Aug. 26 in Kabul while processing Afghan evacuees as American forces withdrew from Afghanistan. McCollum was one of 13 American service members and 100 Afghans killed in the bombing, which was the most lethal day for American forces in the country in nearly a decade.

The lawsuit, filed by McCollum’s widow, Jiennah Crayton and his sisters Roice and Cheyenne, alleges defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to court documents.

Shortly after the suicide bombing, Baldwin reached out to Roice on Instagram after learning McCollum’s story and sent a $5,000 check for Roice to give to Crayton to help with their newborn daughter.

Things took a turn on Jan. 3, 2022, when Roice posted a photo of herself at the Washington Monument on Jan. 6, 2021 – the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

According to court documents, Baldwin publicly responded to that post. In a since-deleted post to Roice on his Instagram account, Baldwin asked, “Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister’s husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit.”

Court documents show that while Roice was among those who showed up to protest the certification of President Joe Biden’s election, she claims she did not participate in the subsequent attack that occurred at the Capitol.

"During the rioting, she was stuck in place outside the Capitol Building next to multiple police officers for hours after the rioting began due to the fact that so many people were around her and the area had been locked down," the lawsuit states.

Roice was turned in to the FBI by an unhappy neighbor but was cleared of any wrongdoing, the lawsuit states.

In a series of private, direct Instagram messages, Baldwin went on to call Roice a “rioter,” according to court documents.

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"Baldwin's comments were false, outrageous, defamatory, irresponsible, vindictive and caused – and continue to cause — plaintiffs severe emotional distress,” the lawsuit states. “Instead of being able to focus on grieving LCPL McCollum's death and raising his newborn daughter, plaintiffs and their family are now fearful for their lives.”

The lawsuit alleges that the McCollum family was overwhelmed by hurtful and hateful messages after Baldwin’s post went public.

"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.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial.

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com.