By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Actor Alec Baldwin is claiming that the family members of a fallen U.S. Marine from Jackson are responding to his request for dismissal of their $25 million lawsuit against him with “misdirection” rather than addressing the facts of the case.
Baldwin filed a response this week to Jiennah, Roice and Cheyenne McCollum’s own reply to his request for dismissal, saying the family has failed to prove he did anything but exercise his First Amendment rights when he referred to Roice McCollum as an “insurrectionist.”
“The First Amendment protects all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, fame or wealth,” Baldwin’s attorneys in court documents filed Monday. “Baldwin expressed his protected political opinion about the events of Jan. 6. [The McCollums] try hard to make this case about something else – rich versus poor, celebrities versus ‘most Americans,’ red states versus blue states. But it’s not.”
Baldwin’s response also said the McCollums failed to directly counter his arguments that the U.S. District Court in Cheyenne has no jurisdiction over the case and that he committed no wrong.
“These tactics cannot sustain (the McCollums’) case,” the response said.
The McCollums filed their lawsuit against Baldwin in January after he called Roice McCollum an “insurrectionist” on his Instagram page because she was present at a demonstration in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, the day the U.S. Capitol was invaded.
The comments came after Baldwin sent a check for $5,000 to help support the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McColumn, who was killed in Afghanistan.
According to the McCollums’ lawsuit, after donating money to the family, Baldwin reached out to Roice McCollumm Rylee’s sister, after seeing a post from her on Instagram that showed protestors outside of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Roice had attended a demonstration in support of former President Donald Trump, but did not take part in the attack on the Capitol that occurred that day.
The lawsuit said Baldwin called Roice an insurrectionist and then posted her picture to his own Instagram page, resulting in immediate insults and threats from some of his 2.4 million followers against not only Roice McCollum, but the fallen Marine’s widow and child.
Baldwin’s attorneys earlier this month asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that Baldwin cannot be sued for calling the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 an “insurrection,” as many other Republicans, Democrats and political officials have referred to it in the same way.
Baldwin Is Different
The McCollum family’s attorneys, in their response to Baldwin’s request, argued that Baldwin is not like most Americans who use social media, since he is wealthy, famous and has a following of millions of people.
“In other words, the consequences of Baldwin’s actions are far more serious than those of ‘most Americans,’” the family’s attorneys argued. “Baldwin cannot simply pick a fight in Wyoming and scurry back to his Manhattan penthouse claiming he is immune from the consequences of his actions in Wyoming.”
But Baldwin’s reply Monday said none of the McCollums’ arguments were relevant in their response to his request, which he said was based on numerous legal arguments.
“In response, (the McCollums) did not distinguish those authorities,” his reply said. “Plaintiffs instead chose a different path: misdirection.”