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YouTube, Filmmaker Sued for 'Innocence of Muslims,' Video to Stay for Now

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

Cindy Lee Garcia, the actress who appears in the controversial film the "Innocence of Muslims," is suing to disassociate herself from the film.

Garcia has brought lawsuits against the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and YouTube for distributing the film's 14-minute trailer, reports the Huffington Post.

But Los Angeles Judge Luis Lavin rejected the takedown request Thursday, in part because the man behind the film was not served with a copy of the lawsuit, the Associated Press reports. Nakoula, the man behind Innocence of Muslims, has gone into hiding since the trailer rose to prominence last week.

YouTube has refused Garcia's requests to remove the film, according to the lawsuit. It is unclear who uploaded the trailer to the site, the AP says.

In her claim against Nakoula, Garcia says that she was "duped" into appearing in the film. She says that she was unaware of the film's anti-Muslim content and the pages of the script she received gave no hint of what the film would be ultimately about.

Garcia says that she responded to an ad and thought she was appearing in an ancient Egyptian adventure film, reports the Huffington Post. But unbeknownst to her, Garcia says that the dialogue that was later dubbed included anti-Islamic messages that portrayed Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a child molester.

In her lawsuit against YouTube, Garcia seeks to have the film removed from the site. She says that keeping the film online violates her right of publicity, invades her privacy rights, and casts her in a false light. Google, the owners of YouTube, has already blocked the film from being viewed in many Muslim countries. However, a judge refused to remove the film.

Garcia's lawsuits may have as much to do about protecting her name and image, as protecting her life. Since the film was released, 30 people have been killed in protests around the world including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Garcia says that she also received death threats and has been living in hiding, afraid to even care for her grandchildren.

When it comes to the First Amendment and the freedom of expression, the truth is that in America you can generally express your views. However, while the law protects your words and expression, the law may not necessarily protect you from those angered by the words.

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