THE woman featured in the anti-Islamic video that triggered violence across the world says she was duped into appearing in the movie, and now fears for her life.
Anna Gurji, 21, who plays Muhammad's child bride, has spoken of her fear of reprisals and how she was 'betrayed' by the film-maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
'I was playing the youngest bride of a character named George,' she said. 'I had no idea George would be changed to Muhammad. I'm locked up in my house. I'm terrified people in the Middle East will blame me.
'I'm Catholic so they might think I have something against Muslims. I'm taking pills to sleep. I've been crying for days. I feel betrayed. My face is stuck on the movie clip. People see that awful film and they see me.'
Pictured above, this is the first image of the man - also known as Sam Bacile - who is understood to have made the movie that has triggered violence across the Middle East, and more recently in Sydney.
Nakoula was last week named by the FBI as the film-maker responsible for Innocence Of Muslims, which ridicules the prophet Muhammad.
The UK's 'Mail on Sunday' has obtained this on-set image of him with the film's star, who says she was duped by the 55-year-old director.
Nakoula is an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian. Now living in California, he is a convicted drug dealer and conman who was last released from jail in June last year.
The film has ignited anti-US clashes from Morocco to Australia. Seven people have been killed, and thousands injured.
Ms Gurji said she and her fellow actors believed they were making an action film called Desert Warrior and that Nakoula, or 'Sam' as she knew him, never discussed religion.
'I was told I was to be Hilary, the young bride of a character called George,' she said. 'The film was about a comet that falls to Earth in the ancient Middle East. There are different tribes who think the comet is somehow holy and fight over it.'
'There were supposed to be lots of special effects so a lot of the filming was in front of a green screen. It was super low-budget. I was getting US$75 a day and all my scenes were shot with George against the green screen. I had no idea how it would be twisted.'
'Maybe I'm naive but no warning bells went off. I auditioned, showed up and did my lines. None of us involved in it had any idea there was a secret agenda.'
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