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One of the actors in "Innocence of Muslims" spoke with CNN yesterday in what may be the first mainstream media interview of a cast member from that film.  Lily Dionne had just arrived in Hollywood a week earlier when she answered an ad on Craigslist for roles in a movie called "Desert Warrior," a B-movie desert opus about a man named "George" who lived in Egypt 2,000 years ago.  She didn't have any lines in the original movie, but after shooting she was called in to dub lines.

"They brought the actors in in post (production) and had them say specific words. Like 'Mohammed,' for example. It was isolated. It wasn't in context," she said. "They'd say 'Say Mohammed,' and they'd (the actors would) say 'Say Mohammed' why?"

When the film was complete, it was no longer a desert adventure about a man named George but rather an anti-Islamic movie about Prophet Mohammed.

"He knew what he was doing. He was playing us all along," Dionne said.

Watch the full story here:

Dionne said she was literally "shaking" when she found out what the film was really about.  She also saw producer "Sam Bacile"--better known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula--several times during the shoot, and never heard him say anything about politics or religion.

My heart goes out to Dionne and the other cast members.  No thanks to Nakoula's deceit, they may have to look over their shoulders for a long, long time.  Seen in that light, Dionne is truly brave to come out publicly and speak out on the record.

CNN offers another new wrinkle to this.  Apparently Dionne and the other actors weren't the only ones Nakoula lied to here.  He may have also lied to the Screen Actors Guild.

A production staff member who worked on the film in its initial stages told CNN that an entirely different name was filed on the paperwork for the Screen Actors Guild: Abenob Nakoula Bassely.

He believed the filmmaker was a Coptic Christian and when the two spoke on the phone during production, the filmmaker said he was in Alexandria, Egypt, raising money for the film.

This raises an interesting question--what did Nakoula tell the SAG about the film?  While it wouldn't be entirely surprising if Nakoula indeed lied to them--we are, after all, talking about a convicted fraudster--I wonder if the SAG has any recourse here.
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Comment Preferences

  •  More detail.... (11+ / 0-)

    There's a long letter from the actress on Neil Gaiman's blog:

  •  why is this being called a "film"? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, JDsg, kyril, G2geek

    It is an amateur hour video. I am surprised that people were  paid for their services but if you are answering a Craig's list ad I would hope that the woman was paid in cash

    •  Allegedly, it was done under SAG auspices... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, lina, madhaus, jayden, kyril, G2geek

          Special arrangements for "extremely low-budget" films. So as far as most of the folks involved were aware, it was a "real" film. From the sounds of it, they're also lucky it didn't get turned into a porno DVD, (although that may yet happen...)
           Althoughy, as the diarist points out, the SAG arrangements may have been fraudulent.

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:15:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The actor had been in town for one week (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, ER Doc

        I sure hope she finds a mentor or she could be in a porn movie and not even know it.

      •  In the original ads (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JDsg, jayden, kyril, ER Doc, G2geek

        it is listed as SAG low budget scale.

        Because they defrauded the actors, who were SAG members, they defrauded SAG as well.  

        It's SAG's job to protect the members of its union from exploitation, whether it be wage exploitation or this kind of bait and switch fraud.  

        I expect (and hope) SAG's lawyers are already all over this.

        "When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?' Don Marquis

        by hopesprings on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:44:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nakoula Baselly gets thrown under the bus (9+ / 0-)

    By Pam Geller and Joseph Nasrallah Abdelmasih:

    In a joint statement, Pam and Joseph make their roles in the whole thing clear: They were deceived! LMAO

    Notice, too, that Joseph makes a point of exonerating Robert Spencer, too.

    They all want it to rest on Nakoula!

    Might even be something the MSM will buy,

    EXCEPT for one thing: Morris Sadek pomoted this film,
    and there were other people, in !

    I could believe that Pam and Joseph were just gullible dupes,
    If they weren't such rabid hatemongers, living their lives on money given to them by WHOM? to do what they are doing.

    Keep talking Pam. We want to know more about Spencer.

    He's just about to blab, so you might as well.

    •  Other People in Libya and Egypt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, kyril, G2geek

      There were paid demonstrators in Egypt.

      Probably in Libya too.

      And Morris Sadek was in control of the timeline.

      That timeline included a plan to use the demonstration as a cover for an attack on the consulate with missiles, RPGs, and machine guns.

      Here's somethinbg else you probably haven't heard yet:

      There was INFORMATION in the consulate that the attackers took. Information about caches of Khadafy weapons, and lists of Khadafy supporters.

      Do not believe the BS that is being told in the place of the real story. Do not, under any circumstances believe Roger Ailes and his FAKE "CIA contact" in Libya.

      While you are considering the GOP liar Ailes, remember this: Morris Sadek is a GOP OPERATIVE and so is his buddy Robert Spencer.

    •  Forget what I said about believing Pam (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, G2geek

      And Joseph.

      They could have come clean a week ago, but instead they kept their mouths shut and hoped that the whole thing would be blamed on the Jews.

      They deserve to be sitting in a military jail.

      For as long as it takes for them to tell the truth.

      •  Geller and Nasralla didn't do anything criminal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There's really no way you can prosecute anyone criminally for the film itself.

        Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

        by Christian Dem in NC on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:05:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It depends (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Right now the leap hasn't been made, but it is going to be made.

          This isn't about putting people in jail over a film, although the muslim extremists and Robert Spencer certainly want everyone to think so.

          No, this is about using the sexual humiliation of muslims technique, a psyops technique, to provide cover for something else.

          This is about the assassination of the ambassador, and creating a shitstorm all over the muslim world.

          This is about giving a DUMMY something to talk about while he is pretending to be Reagan.

          The demonstration in Libya was pre-planned, and so was the attack on the consulate, and there is a GOP bagman behind it all.

          Like I said, military prison.

        •  Well shut my mouth! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I didn't read the comments for the story I linked before reading it, but I am apparently not the only one who thinks the GOP is playing cloak and dagger games.

          Rightwing commentators posted links to Infowars and warned Pam that she is being named.

      •  traraka - what crimes did anyone (0+ / 0-)

        associated with the film commit?

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 02:27:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Crimes (0+ / 0-)

          IF Morris Sadek didn't coordinate with others who:

          1) Paid protestors in Egypt
          2) Paid protestors in Libya
          3) Planned a terrorist attack against a consulate
          4) Killed an Ambassador

          Then there isn't anything that he can be charged with.

          If this is just an effort by some Christian radicals to
          stir the pot, then the worst that can be done is to throw
          Basselly in jail for violating his parole.

          But SOMEONE paid protesters in Egypt.
          SOMEONE probably paid protesters in Libya
          SOMEONE DID coordinate the protest in Libya
          with an armed attack on the consulate.
          And SOMEONE coordinated the assassination
          of the Ambassador.

          What we know is that Morris Sadek acted in a deliberate and intentional manner to complete the promotion of the anti-muslim film ON A TIMELINE.

          What we know is that whoever attacked the consulate and killed the ambassador RELIED upon the demonstration as a cover.

          What we know is that the protests in Libya and Egypt RELIED upon the timeline of the film promotion by Morris Sadek.

          So what do we have there? How about murder and conspiracy to commit murder? How about aiding and abetting enemies of the United States? How about conspiracy to commit espionage and treason? How about conspiracy to commit terrrorist acts?

          This is what I think I see. There are more dots to connect. Morris Sadek didn't do this alone.

  •  why would it matter what he told SAG? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  If he lied to them about what the film was about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, kyril

      the SAG could claim that if it knew, it would have put the word out to its members not to touch it with a 10-foot pole.

      Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

      by Christian Dem in NC on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:01:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He advertised the film (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, G2geek

        fraudently in a casting breakdown (it was listed beyond Craigslist.)

        He signed SAG employment contracts.

        Believe me, SAG is going to be pissed.  They are supposed to protect their union members from things like this.

        "When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?' Don Marquis

        by hopesprings on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:47:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wasn't it a term of his probation not to use (4+ / 0-)

      any more aliases?  If he used one with SAG, that looks like he's going back to the slammer, if he hasn't already.

      In capitalist America, bank robs you!

      by madhaus on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:40:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it was apparently a term of probation to not use.. (0+ / 0-)

        .... a computer or the internet without permission from his probation officer.

        This according to early reports of the case.

        Two strikes!

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 09:10:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  civil fraud by omission and commission: (0+ / 0-)

      IANAL so feel free to tear the following to shreds if it doesn't stand up:

      He made substantive misstatements about the nature of the film in order to persuade actors to enter into contracts that they might not otherwise have entered into had he disclosed the actual facts.  These were not just omissions but overt lies and false claims in order to persuade people to sign contracts.  That's fraud.  

      He failed to disclose that he was aware that participation in the film entailed the risk of the personal danger of violent retaliation, per his discussion with Klein, as reported in the press.  That failure to disclose a known hazard is actionable in and of itself: like a remodeling contractor who fails to disclose to his workers that he knows there is a nest of rabid bats under the eaves of a house where they will be replacing the roof.  

      The result of his overt lies and concealments was to obtain contracts with actors that a) they might not otherwise have signed, and/or b) they might otherwise have sought additional compensation for the risks to their future careers and to their lives.

      Therefore he defrauded the actors of additional money they might have sought, which is a reparable harm.  

      And he damaged their professional reputations and personal safety, which are irreparable harms.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 09:08:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  consider also his criminal history: (0+ / 0-)

      Selling watered-down gasoline at his gasoline station.

      Possession of equipment for manufacturing phencyclidine (PCP aka "angel dust") and methamphetamine: two of the most destructive drugs on the street.

      Financial fraud, consisting of a check-kiting scheme using stolen or faked Social Security checks.  

      The guy is a cunning but not-very-smart crook three times over.  In other words he's lowlife scum.  

      And this film fits his MO to a T: right down to the aliases and the "charming" (sociopathic sign) behavior toward the people in the film, even as he materially misled them about the film itself and the dangers that would accrue to the actors for participating.

      If he wanted to make a blatantly racist film, and hired a bunch of fellow blatant racists to act in it, we could complain about the film but he would be free & clear as far as any culpability or liability was concerned.  But he lied to his actors, got them involved under false pretenses, and failed to disclose the danger to them: and last time I checked, the 1st Amendment does not protect fraud.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 09:16:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm looking forward to the news about Nakoula (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, madhaus, hopesprings, kyril

    facing new fraud charges, as well as the clear parole violations he's already committed. He's supposed to keep his P.O. advised of all business arrangements he's involved in, as well as any banking activities outside of a single personal account. His access to computers, smart phones, or any other device capable of accessing the Internet is strictly limited, as well as the Internet activities of any people acting on his behalf. (This is all related to his prior computer fraud conviction, for which he served time in federal prison.) If he raised money under a false name or false pretenses, he's certainly toast.
         There's a problem, though, in that people from both ends of the political spectrum are suggesting that any federal action against him is going to be perceived as either appeasement of the Islamists in the street, (for the wingnuts,) or that foreign governments are liable to regard this as proof that the US government actually can suppress criticism of Islam, if it really wants to, (for us moonbats.) I'm not sure how we can really deal with that, since this guy really does appear to be engaged in activity that is, at least under his circumstances, criminal.

    -7.25, -6.26

    We are men of action; lies do not become us.

    by ER Doc on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 03:55:24 PM PDT

    •  he violated parole. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, VClib

      nothing else he did was criminal or actionable.

      •  He put his actor's lives in danger (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        by witholding information. Anyone associated with this project should have been told they were putting themselves in danger of being put on a militant Islamist hit list.

        This actress will live in some measure of fear for the rest of her life. Her civil suit alone should completely bankrupt this creep.

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:25:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He certainly seems to have violated parole. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, kyril

           As a felon with a prior conviction for fraud, any new "business" activities of his involving the use of an alias and possibly raising money under false pretenses is not only an obvious violation of his parole, it is likely to get very close scrutiny for new charges. There may indeed have been fraud committed that isn't yet publicly known.
             That being said, making this pathetic excuse for a movie has First Amendment protection. The act of making a movie critical of Islam or The Prophet isn't criminal in the United States.  

        -7.25, -6.26

        We are men of action; lies do not become us.

        by ER Doc on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:27:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fraud? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, VClib

      Seriously? Would be nice if true, but in all this so far there has been no indication of fraud.

      As much as the guy is a lout and an ex-con, he also appears to be engaged in activity that is protected by our right of free speech.

      We have to stand up for freedom of speech no matter how inconvenient it may be.

      •  There is no doubt this is protected speech... (0+ / 0-)

            But there has been a lot of intentional misrepresentation/overt lying being done regarding the making & promotion of the film, to the actors & crew, as well as to the media looking into who made the film & why. Given this guy's history of criminal fraud, it doesn't seem unreasonable to wonder if there was any similar misrepresentation made to the people who actually put up the money to make the film. This guy has lied to almost everyone he's spoken to. It's possible he simply can't help it.

        -7.25, -6.26

        We are men of action; lies do not become us.

        by ER Doc on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 07:38:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Terrible stuff. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, jayden

    His actions, protected or not, will have a detrimental effect on these actors lives for many years, possibly for the rest of their lives.  They may end up like Rushdie, constantly looking over their shoulder for the extremist intent on their murder.  Such a thing as what Nakoula did to these actors should be punishable.

    Thanks, Christian Dem in NC, for all your diaries on this topic.  Followed.

    Terror has no religion.
    لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

    by downsouth on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:55:50 PM PDT

  •  I haven't watched the trailer yet. (0+ / 0-)

    A ginger in this context seems anomalous. wtf! srsly.

    Who would have believed that this is a serious production?

  •  Another actress in it... (0+ / 0-)

    ...sent a letter to Neil Gaiman that he posted on his website today.  The cast is pretty devastated.

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