An actress who appears in the anti-Islam film trailer that has been blamed for causing violent protests in the Middle East wants a US judge to order YouTube to take down the clip.
Lawyers for Cindy Lee Garcia plan to make the request today over the 14-minute trailer for Innocence of Muslims in a Los Angeles court.
Ms Garcia filed a lawsuit yesterday against the filmmaker for fraud and slander, claiming she was duped by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who has gone into hiding since the trailer drew worldwide attention last week.
The protests have killed at least 30 people in seven countries, including the US ambassador to Libya.
Ms Garcia said she was not aware of the film’s anti-Muslim content, and the pages of the script she received had no mention of the Prophet Mohammed, religion or sexual content, according to her complaint.
YouTube has refused her requests to remove the film, according to the lawsuit. The complaint contends that keeping the trailer online violates her right of publicity and says the post-filming dialogue changes cast her in a false light.
”(Garcia) had a legally protected interest in her privacy and the right to be free from having hateful words put in her mouth or being depicted as a bigot,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says Ms Garcia thought she was appearing in an ancient Egyptian adventure film called Desert Warriors. Dialogue in the amateurish film was later dubbed to include anti-Islamic messages and to portray Mohammed as a fraud, a womaniser and a child molester. It was also translated into Arabic.
YouTube said it is reviewing the complaint, and its lawyers will be in court today. The site is owned by search giant Google.
”The film is vile and reprehensible,” Ms Garcia’s lawyer, M. Cris Armenta, wrote in the document. Ms Garcia has received death threats since the film’s trailer began drawing attention, and she is no longer able to care for her grandchildren, the lawyer said.
Mr Nakoula is on probation for a bank fraud case in which he opened 600 fraudulent credit accounts, in civil matters.
According to the terms of his probation, he was allowed to only access websites with the permission of probation officials and for work purposes. It is unclear who uploaded the film to YouTube.