"Innocence of Muslims" actress Cindy Lee Garcia is taking her legal fight against YouTube and its owner Google to federal court, her attorney told NBC's "Today" show Monday.
The decision comes after Garcia suffered a setback last week, when Judge Luis Lavin of Los Angeles Superior Court denied Garcia's motion to have the trailer for the anti-Muslim film pulled from YouTube. The film has been blamed by some for a wave of violenece that has spread across the Middle East and North Africa including the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Also read: "Innocence of Muslims" Actress Loses Bid to Take Video off YouTube Lavin shot down Garcia's request due to insufficient evidence and because of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from being held responsible for user-provided content. Garcia claims that she was duped by the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and that the anti-Muslim dialog that she appears to speak in the trailer was dubbed in afterward. Also read: "Innocence of Muslims" Protesters Torch Theaters as Riots Escalate in Pakistan The actress -- who says that she's received death threats because of the trailer, reasserted her claim on "Today" Monday, telling Savannah Guthrie, "I'm coming forward to clear my name because I was duped ... There were other words that were put in my mouth. I was devastated." While acknowledging that the Communications Decency Act poses a challenge to her case, Garcia's attorney, Cris Armenta, maintained that their argument is valid. Also read: "Innocence of Muslims" Actress Reveals Excerpts From Script "I think we should be very clear that Google and YouTube are doing the wrong thing," Armenta said. "In fact, they say in their own terms and guidelines that hate speech is not allowed. How can this not be hateful? How can this not be wrong? Morally, intellectually, legally. And so, today, we will dismiss the state court lawsuit, but we're going to file in federal court." An attorney for four other actors in the film told NBC News that the cast members plan to sue the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, for fraud and infliction of emotional distress. In the wake of the controversy over his film, Nakoula has gone into hiding. Watch Garcia's "Today" segment below.
- Los Angeles Superior Court