Alec Baldwin gave fallen Marine widow donation from his tax-free foundation, not GoFundMe [EXCLUSIVE]
Interview with Gold Star widow Gigi McCollum
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For a week after her Marine husband was killed in action in Afghanistan in August, Jiennah “Gigi” McCullum turned off the notifications on her phone because it was so “chaotic.”
Gigi, 21, was eight months pregnant when Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum was killed by an ISIS terrorist. She was getting 50 to 100 messages every hour from people reaching out to offer help and condolences. Many of those people found the GoFundMe set up for her unborn daughter and donated to it.
Actor Alec Baldwin did not contact her directly. Instead, he sent a check to Gigi’s sister-in-law, Roice McCollum. I obtained a copy of the $5,000 check that Baldwin sent— see below.
The was written from the tax-free “Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation.”
“He presumably took a tax deduction from his foundation,” the family’s attorney Dennis C. Postiglione said. “It’s a generous gift. He didn’t have to do it. But just because he gave money, that doesn’t give him license to publicly attack someone.”
The McCollum’s lawsuit is based on Baldwin’s actions on Jan. 3 and 4 when he saw photos Roice posted from the Jan. 6, 2021 “Make America Great Again” rally in D.C.
Baldwin told his 2.4 million Instagram followers that they sent money to the family via GoFundMe when he called them terrorists. See here:
“He did something nice by donating, and then he turned around and make it all about him,” said Gigi. “It’s sad.”
“While any reasonable person would give him credit for a nice gesture, apparently, there were strings attached,” said her lawyer. “The second Mr. Baldwin found out the Marine’s family does not believe what he does, his actions made them pay a high price.”
Baldwin’s private messages
Like Gigi, Roice also got a lot of messages in those first days after the ISIS attack at Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. servicemen.
So when Alec Baldwin, 63, sent a private message on Instagram to 22-year-old Roice in the days after her 20-year-old brother was killed, she ignored his message. Roice told me Baldwin sent a second message the next day, and she finally answered.
“He said he’d like to know if he could do something for Gigi,” Roice recalled. “I said, I don't know what you can do. We have a GoFundMe set up, but that’s about all at this point.”
Roice said Baldwin replied that he didn’t want GoFundMe to take a portion of the money. Roice said Baldwin messaged her, “I’ll send you a personal check. Where should I send it?”
She gave Baldwin an address in Wyoming, but the check got sent back. She gave him another address, and she finally received the check for $5,000 made out to “Jiennah McCollum.” Soon after, Roice went to California when Gigi gave birth to her daughter Levi. Roice gave Gigi the check.
“It caught us all by surprise when he donated money because it was weird,” Gigi explained. “A couple of other celebrities reached out through my mom and gave to the GoFundMe.” She doesn’t remember if she was told those celebrities’ names.
Baldwin never contacted Gigi directly. “I don’t know why he only reached out to Roice, maybe it was the first Instagram account he found,” she said. “But then you can find all our other accounts tagged on hers.”
The Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation
Why did Baldwin write a check from his foundation instead of his personal finances?
The Foundation is a 501c3 private foundation. I pulled the most recent tax filing for the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation, which is 2019.
Baldwin appears to be the sole funder. The charity gave away $1,594,500 that year in gifts that ranged from $500 to $500,000. The tax return in 2018 shows the Baldwins donated $1,312,380.
The donations are mostly to arts charities in New York. I can’t find any other donations to an individual. I uploaded both tax returns below in my sources.
In recent years, the foundation posts on its Facebook page when it donates, such as this one to Planned Parenthood.
Baldwin’s net worth is often given by the media as $60 million. But after 40 plus years as a successful actor and producer, it could be much more. The full extent of his wealth will be known when the lawsuit gets to the discovery stage of the McCollum’s lawsuit.
The Lawsuit in Wyoming
The McCollums — Gigi, Roice and sister Cheyenne— are suing Baldwin on four counts for $25 million. One of them is part of the laws against the invasion of privacy, which is an intrusion on seclusion.
“Baldwin barged into their personal life in a very offensive way, said Postiglione. “By broadcasting what he did, Baldwin put the women into a position where their privacy was invaded by 2.4 million hostile people.”
The women are also suing on the basis of what’s called false light.
“If Alec Baldwin says you’re responsible for the destruction of property and you’re a rioter, it’s making them appear to be something they are not- casting them in a false light,” explained their lawyer.
“Under the Constitution, you have a right to privacy, a right to be left alone. And by violating that light, we allege they suffered mental anguish and anxiety, lack of sleep and much more.”
They are also suing Baldwin for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Baldwin’s 2.4 Million Man Mob
Gigi said the way Baldwin attacked her family has made her life feel like she did four months ago when Rylee was killed by a terrorist.
“I feel like things were calming down again. Then all of a sudden, this happened. And now our entire lives are on blast again,” she said.
“This whole thing on his part is unreal to me,” she said of Baldwin. “It still doesn’t make sense how he could do what he did —and think it’s okay. And how can he read all the stuff his followers on social media say to us and not think this is a big problem?”
Gigi is upset about what people write about her online. “To some people, what Baldwin did was small because it doesn’t affect them,” Gigi said. “It came out of nowhere for us. It’s exhausting to defend the type of person you are when social media calls you something you’re not.”
I asked Gigi what her husband Rylee would have thought of what Baldwin did to her.
“I think it would have made him mad,” the Gold Star widow said. “He wasn’t a confrontational person, but when it was his family and people he cared about he would do everything in his power to make it right. I think he would have been proud of us for doing something about it and not just letting it happen.”