24th September, 2012
Los Angeles, AFP: An American actress who says she was “duped” into appearing in the anti-Islam film that has sparked outrage across the Muslim world, will take further legal action after a first lawsuit was rejected, her lawyer said Monday.
Cindy Lee Garcia, whose lawsuit demanding that YouTube withdraw footage from “Innocence of Muslims” was rejected by a Los Angeles judge last week, is taking action for breach of copyright in federal court.
“They say in their own terms and guidelines that hate speech (is) not allowed. How can this not be hate speech? How can this not be wrong morally, intellectually, legally?” her lawyer Cris Armenta told NBC’s Today show.
The lawyer said she would withdraw the state court lawsuit. “But we are going to file again today in federal court. My client has a copyright claim. We intend to enforce it,” she said.
Garcia herself reiterated that she thought she signed up for a film called “Desert Warrior” about life 2,000 years ago, and only realized her lines had been over-dubbed when the row erupted with Muslim protests erupted this month.
“I’m coming forward to clear my name because I was duped,” she said. “I was confused .. There were other words that were put in my mouth. I was devastated.”
Garcia is one of three actresses in the film to have come forward claiming they were tricked into taking part in the production since the explosion of violence in Muslim countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
In her initial lawsuit, filed last Wednesday, Garcia alleged she has suffered severe emotional distress, financial setbacks and the “destruction of her career and reputation.”
But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Louis Lavin refused her request for a restraining order to prevent YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, from continuing to show the 14-minute package of clips from the film.
The English version of the trailer, which has been withdrawn from YouTube in a number of countries, includes blatantly overdubbed parts of dialogue, and Mohammed’s name seems to have been added in post production.
Garcia said she only saw four pages of script for the two days she spent on set, and had no idea about the movie’s religious content. “No one spoke of the Muslim faith, no one spoke of Muhammad. Nor would I do that,” she said.