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A judge dismissed a defamation suit brought against Alec Baldwin by the family of a fallen US Marine.
The lawsuit was dismissed Wednesday by a district court judge due to lack of personal jurisdiction, meaning the Wyoming court has no jurisdiction over Baldwin who resides in New York City, according to documents obtained by Fox News Digital.
The actor has been sued by Roice McCollum, the sister of fallen U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, for allegedly mislabeling her as a participant of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“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 court documents stated.
Roice’s legal team noted that the lawsuit had been dismissed “without prejudice solely on jurisdictional grounds.”
ALEC BALDWIN’S ATTEMPT TO DISMISS DEFAMATION LAWSUIT SLAMMED BY FAMILY OF FALL US MARINE
“The court disagreed with [the] argument and kicked the suit out of Wyoming without prejudice solely on jurisdictional grounds and without reaching the arguments to dismiss any other claims. In short, Baldwin did not win. He simply established that a Wyoming Court will not assert jurisdiction over him,” Roice’s lawyer Dennis Postiglione told Fox News Digital in a statement.
Roice’s legal team plans to refile in New York and “may include additional state law claims unique to New York.”
“Even if the defamation claims fail, the others are solid,” Postiglione told Fox News Digital. “Baldwin assumed a duty of care when he chose to repost the image and comment on it repeatedly. He breached that duty, and my clients suffered harm. All of that will have to play out in New York rather than Wyoming, but the conduct is the same.”
Meanwhile, Baldwin’s legal camp called the lawsuit dismissal a “victory.”
“We are pleased with this victory,” Baldwin’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, told Fox News Digital 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.”
The lawsuit, originally filed on Jan. 17, is seeking $25 million and alleging defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The defamation lawsuit stemmed from Baldwin’s actions on social media. The actor donated $5,000 to Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum’s widow after he heard the fallen Marine’s story. The Marine was killed Aug. 26 in Kabul in a suicide bombing as he was processing refugees amid the United States’ controversial withdrawal from the country.
However, it seemed Baldwin had a change of heart after he saw a photo of Roice, posted by herself, at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The image showed her at the Washington Monument on the day of the insurrection in 2021. According to the lawsuit, Roice was indeed among the protesters who showed up to the march. However, the court documents reveal that, while she was protesting the vote certification of Joe Biden that day, she did not take part in the rioting nor any unlawful activity.
“During the rioting, she was stuck in place outside the Capitol Building next to multiple police officers for hours after the rioting began due to the fact that so many people were around her and the area had been locked down,” the original lawsuit stated. “Later, a neighbor who was unhappy that Roice attended the demonstration turned her in to the authorities.”
Roice was interviewed by the FBI and cleared of any wrongdoing. Despite never being charged with any crime, the documents show direct messages between Roice and Baldwin in which he labels her a “rioter.”
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Baldwin went on to repost the photo and call Roice an “insurrectionist” to his 2.4 million Instagram followers in a since-deleted post. Roice, her sister Cheyenne and Rylee’s wife Jiennah are suing Baldwin over his direct message and the decision to share his belief that Roice took part in the rioting.
Roice and her family say they were inundated with hateful comments shortly after the post went public. The court documents offer examples of some of those comments, among the most disturbing from someone who said, “Get raped and die, worthless c— [kiss emoji]. Your brother got what he deserved.”
The defamation lawsuit also included the direct messages sent between Baldwin and Roice on Instagram.
“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 wrote.
Roice responded: “Protesting is perfectly legal in the country and I’ve already had my sit down with the FBI. Thanks, have a nice day!”
“I don’t think so. Your activities resulted in the unlawful destruction of government property, the death of a law enforcement officer, an assault on the certification of the presidential election,” Baldwin replied. “I reposted your photo. Good luck.”
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Roice’s lawyers previously called Baldwin’s conduct on social media “negligent and reckless.”
“Baldwin’s conduct was negligent and reckless as he should have known that making the allegations he did against plaintiffs to his millions of followers would cause plaintiffs harm,” the original court documents state.
“Baldwin’s comments were false, outrageous, defamatory, irresponsible, vindictive and caused — and continue to cause — plaintiffs severe emotional distress. Instead of being able to focus on grieving LCPL McCollum’s death and raising his newborn daughter, plaintiffs and their family are now fearful for their lives.”