Alec Baldwin's Defamation Lawsuit From Family of Slain Marine Dismissed
By Mona Khalifeh
Jim Spellman/Getty Images
A defamation lawsuit aimed at Alec Baldwin from the family of a Marine killed in Afghanistan has been dismissed.
According to court documents obtained by ET, a judge ruled on May 4 that a Wyoming district court granted Baldwin's motion to dismiss "for lack of personal jurisdiction."
"The Court finds and concludes that the McCollums have failed to meet their burden of proof in showing that this Court may properly exercise personal jurisdiction over Mr. Baldwin," the order states. The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it is not dismissed permanently and can be reopened or refiled.
“We are pleased with this victory," Baldwin's attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, told ET in a statement. "This is a significant step toward the complete dismissal of the lawsuit, which seeks to punish Mr. Baldwin for expressing his political opinion."
This marks the latest development in the lawsuit that was filed on January 17. In legal documents previously obtained by ET, Baldwin was being sued by the family of Rylee McCollum who was one of 13 marines killed outside of Afghanistan's international airport during a bombing on Aug. 26, 2021, amidst the United States military's efforts to help evacuate military, civilian and Afghan nationals out of the country during the Taliban takeover. He was 20.
According to court docs, Baldwin found the Marine’s sister, Roice McCollum, on Instagram and sent her a check for $5,000 to be given to her brother's widow, Jiennah Crayton, and their baby.
In January, however, Baldwin allegedly accused Roice of participating in the riots at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021.
According to the complaint, the 63-year-old actor allegedly called her an "insurrectionist" and a "Jan. 6 rioter" in a private Instagram direct message. His alleged DM to her came after Roice posted a photo she took on Jan. 6, 2021 at the Washington Monument, writing, "Throwback 😝🤘🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲."
"Are you the same woman I sent the $ for your sister’s husband who was killed during the Afghanistan exit?" Baldwin allegedly commented under Roice’s photo. "When I sent the $ for your late brother, out of real respect for his service to this country, I didn’t know you were a January 6th rioter."
Baldwin allegedly went on to repost her photos from the demonstration to his Instagram account, telling Roice, "I reposted your photo. Good luck."
While Roice admitted in the docs to attending a protest at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, she said she did not participate in the riots that followed and has been cleared after an interview with the FBI.
Roice went on to claim that since Baldwin shared her photos on his Instagram page, she, her sister, Cheyenne, and Crayton have received "hostile, aggressive, hateful" messages on social media, and went on to call the actor's comments, "false, outrageous, defamatory, irresponsible, vindictive."
Roice and her family members were seeking damages of at least $25 million for alleged defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.