The actress suing over her appearance in a controversial trailer for an anti-Muslim film that has incited violent Middle East protests told TODAY she wants to set the record straight about how she was tricked into making the movie.
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“I’m coming forward to clear my name because I was duped,” Cindy Lee Garcia told Savannah Guthrie Monday.
Garcia said she thought she had signed on for a film called “Desert Warrior” that depicted life 2,000 years ago. It wasn’t until she saw the 14-minute trailer for the movie that she realized her lines had been dubbed.
“I was confused,” she said. “There were other words that were put in my mouth. I was devastated.”
The movie actually turned out to be "Innocence of Muslims," which depicts Muhammad as a philanderer and has prompted violent protests and killings at U.S. embassies throughout the Middle East.
Garcia’s lawyer, Cris Armenta, said she plans to press YouTube and Google to remove the film clip from the Internet, despite failing in a similar effort last week in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Armenta said she will file a federal lawsuit Monday against Google and YouTube, who she said are “doing the wrong thing” by keeping the film clip up.
“They say in their own terms and guidelines that hate speech (is) not allowed. How can this not be hate speech? How can this not be wrong morally, intellectually, legally?” Armenta said.
In a statetment to the TODAY show, YouTube said: "We are pleased with the Judge's decision. YouTube is and will remain a platform for free expression."Video: Actress in anti-Islam film: I was duped (on this page)
Garcia said she was only given two script pages each of the two days she worked on set. She described the movie’s alleged producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who has since gone into hiding, as very polite but “very boastful” about also having written the script. She said she had no indication the film would have any religious content.
“No one spoke of the Muslim faith, no one spoke of Muhammad. Nor would I do that,” she said.
Garcia said she has received numerous death threats since the trailer was released.
“I’m very cautious about my surroundings,” she said. “I’ve taken all my information from the public.”
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