Does the filmmaker whose movie sparked the deadly Libyan assaults even exist?
Questions arose Wednesday about the identity of Sam Bacile, who has claimed responsibility for the movie in media interviews. An expert in far-right extremist groups said he had doubts about whether Bacile was a real person, and a consultant on the film said the name was a pseudonym and he was unsure of the man’s true identity.
The anti-Muslim video apparently sparked outrage in eastern Libya, where a mob stormed the U.S. Consulate and killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Tuesday night.
A version of the film — “Innocence of Muslims” — first screened in Hollywood this summer, sources say.
Then called “Innocence of Bin Laden,” the film was shown in a theater on Hollywood Boulevard on June 23 to an audience of less than 10, a source familiar with the showing said. An “attractive” woman stood on Hollywood Boulevard trying to interest passersby in the movie, but got few takers, the source said.
“The acting was of the worst caliber,” the source said.
The source said the man who brought the film to the theater was not named Bacile.
A man who identified himself as Bacile told the Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday that he was an Israeli Jew living in California and had made the movie with $5 million in donations from 100 Jewish donors.