Family of Marine Killed in Afghanistan Hits Alec Baldwin with $25 Million Lawsuit
Looks like Alec Baldwin tangled with the wrong Marine family.
The Hollywood star has already been a living argument against the old idea that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” since October’s fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of a movie Baldwin was both starring in and producing.
Now, he’s in a different kind of legal spotlight, as the family of a Marine who was killed in the August suicide bombing at Kabul, Afghanistan’s airport, have filed a lawsuit claiming Baldwin’s treatment of them on social media has led to “severe emotional distress” and even caused them to fear for their lives.
According to the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune, the story begins after the Aug. 26 suicide bombing that killed 13 U.S. service members and about 170 Afghan civilians.
One of the Marines killed that day was Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum of Jackson, Wyoming, the father of a baby girl born a month after he died.
In the aftermath of the blast, McCollum’s family made headlines by being openly critical of the way President Joe Biden behaved toward the families of those who died.
“Everything felt fake, if I’m being honest,” one of the Marine’s sisters, Cheyenne McCollum, told Newsmax after meeting the president with her brother’s wife.
Possibly moved by the story of a young woman being widowed only a month from giving birth, Baldwin contacted another sister, Roice McCollum, and sent her a $5,000 donation for her brother’s wife.
That sounds nice, even heartwarming, but things took a turn in January after Roice posted a picture of herself at the Washington Monument that was taken on Jan. 6, 2021 — that’s the date liberals like Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Baldwin think should live in infamy along with the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
On Jan. 1, the Star-Tribune reported, Roice used Instagram to post the Washington Monument photo to show she was one of hundreds of thousands of Americans who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally in Washington, D.C., in support of then-President Donald Trump.
Baldwin, almost predicably, took offense, and commented, “Are you the same woman that I sent the $ to for your sister’s husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit,” according to the Star-Tribune. That post is no longer on Baldwin’s Instagram account, the outlet noted.
According to the Star-Tribune, Roice responded that she had a right to protest and that she’d been interviewed by the FBI but had not even been present at the Capitol for the incursion — that eye blink of an incident that Democrats are pretending was a near-death experience for the nation’s system of government.
(As if extrajudicial happenings in a small corner of Washington, D.C., however grave or violent, would actually mean a change of government for a nation of more than 300 million free men and women. We’re bigger than that, and better than that. And liberals should know it.)
But for Baldwin apparently, like any good liberal, just being present in the nation’s capital was enough for guilt by association. According to the Star-Tribune, the family’s lawsuit states that Baldwin accused Roice of being an “insurrectionist” and reposted her photos for the benefit of his 2.4 million followers, with the statement that stories of peaceful protests at the Capital that day were “bull****.”
(In the liberal mindset of the 2020s, only when radical leftists violently riot is it considered “mostly peaceful.”)
It’s not hard to imagine what might happen when an audience of Alec Baldwin followers are presented with images of people and the suggestion that they’re violent followers of former President Trump.
The images were only posted for a day, according to the Star-Tribune, but that was enough time for the McCollums to receive vile, threatening messages that are still having an effect.
The “hostile, aggressive, hateful” messages included one to Roice that said: “Get raped and die, worthless c*** (kiss emoji). Your brother got what he deserved,” the Star-Tribune reported.
Cheyenn McCollum and her brother’s widow also received harmful messages.
The McCollums’ attorney, Dennis Postiglione, told the Star-Tribune that there are “600, 700 more pages worth of posts” that haven’t been included in the lawsuit, and that they make those that are in the suit seem “tame.”
Altogether, the lawsuit claims, the effect of Baldwin’s social media behavior regarding the McCollum family amounted to defamation. The lawsuit is demanding $25 million in damages, the Star-Tribune reported.
Now, a case like this would probably be difficult under any circumstances. But the fact that the McCollums had attained prominence in the way of Rylee McCollums’ death would likely complicate any claim against Baldwin even further.
The legal standards for private individuals and public figures are key in any defamation case. A private citizen, such as Kentucky high school student Nicholas Sandmann, who was smeared as a racist by mainstream media figures in 2019, has a much easier path to proving a complaint.
But it does open up at least the possibility that even those with wealth and influence far beyond their merit might be open to being held accountable by the individuals they smear. Trump supporters like the McCollums might be categorized as “deplorables” in the parts of the country Baldwin frequents, but for a great, great part of it, they’re what America is all about.
As Postiglione told the Star-Tribune, “I would love to put this in front of a Wyoming jury.”
A request for comment to Baldwin’s Instagram account did not get a response on Wednesday afternoon.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.