* Actress seeks film's removal from YouTube
* Says she has received death threats
By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES, Sept 20 The actress who claims she
was defrauded by the producer of an anti-Islam movie that has
spawned violent protests across the Muslim world on Thursday
will ask a California judge to order the short film to be pulled
down from YouTube.
Actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who said she had received death
threats after the video was posted on YouTube, has accused
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the California man linked to the
making of "The Innocence of Muslims," of fraud and slander.
Garcia also named Google Inc. and its YouTube unit
as defendants in the suit she filed on Wednesday. She said her
right to privacy had been violated and her life endangered,
among other allegations.
A hearing on her request for an injunction was scheduled for
Thursday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court. A Google
spokesman on Wednesday said the company was reviewing the
complaint and would be at Thursday's court proceeding.
A representative for Nakoula's criminal attorney declined to
comment on the lawsuit.
Garcia's is the first known civil lawsuit connected to the
making of the video, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad as a
womanizer and a fool, and which helped generate a torrent of
violence across the Muslim world last week, the anniversary of
the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
The violence included an attack on U.S. diplomatic
facilities in Benghazi in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and
three other Americans were killed. U.S. and other foreign
embassies were also stormed in cities in Asia, Africa and the
Middle East by furious Muslims.
Garcia accused a producer of the movie, whom she identified
as Nakoula and said he used the alias Sam Bacile, of duping her
into appearing in a "hateful" film that she had been led to
believe was a simple desert adventure movie.
"There was no mention of 'Mohammed' during filming or on
set. There were no references made to religion nor was there any
sexual content of which Ms. Garcia was aware," the lawsuit said.
For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is
blasphemous. Caricatures deemed insulting in the past have
provoked protests and drawn condemnation from officials,
preachers, ordinary Muslims and many Christians.
Garcia said the film, which has circulated online as a
13-minute trailer, had prompted her family to refuse to allow
her to see or babysit her grandchildren, fearing for their
The suit accuses Nakoula, Google and YouTube of invasion of
privacy, unfair business practices, the use of Garcia's likeness
without permission and intentional infliction of emotional
U.S. officials have said authorities were not investigating
the film project itself and that even if it was inflammatory or
led to violence, simply producing it cannot be considered a
crime in the United States under the Constitution's guarantee of
But Nakoula, a Coptic Christian California man who pleaded
guilty to bank fraud in 2010, was interviewed on Saturday by
federal probation officers probing whether he violated the terms
of his release while making the film.
Nakoula, who was released from prison in 2011, is prohibited
from accessing the Web or assuming aliases without the approval
of his probation officer, court records show. Violations could
result in him being sent back to prison.
Nakoula, 55, did not return to his house in the Los Angeles
suburb of Cerritos following his interview with federal
probation officers. Last week, he denied involvement in the film
in a phone call to his Coptic bishop in Los Angeles.