Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has made headlines over the fake interviews he’s fooled Republican politicians and others into for his new Showtime program, but one Republican is fighting back with a $95 million lawsuit.
Here’s what happened
Cohen invited former U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama Roy Moore under the pretense of granting him an award for his support for Israel, but he used the opportunity to mock and embarrass the Republican.
The controversial politician lost his bid for the U.S. Senate in 2017 after several allegations of sexual harassment, including some from alleged victims who claimed they were underage at the time of the incidents.
Moore responded against Cohen with a $95 million lawsuit for defamation, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In the episode broadcast in July, Cohen disguised himself as Gen. Erran Morad, a supposed anti-terror expert from Israel. Cohen, as Morad, told Moore that Israeli scientists had developed an electronic device that detected sexual offenders.
The wand device remained silent as Cohen passed it over himself, but it beeped after he passed it over Moore several times.
“If this is an instrument, well certainly, I’m not a pedophile, OK?” responded Moore.
“Maybe Israeli technology hasn’t developed properly,” he added. “I am simply cutting this conversation right now. Thank you.”
“I support Israel, I don’t support this kind of stuff,” Moore protested as he walked away.
Moore also sued Showtime and its parent CBS Corp over the embarrassing stunt.
“This false and fraudulent portrayal and mocking of Judge Moore as a sex offender,” read the complaint according to Reuters, “has severely harmed Judge Moore’s reputation and caused him, Mrs. Moore, and his entire family severe emotional distress, as well as caused and will cause plaintiffs financial damage.”
Here’s the Hollywood Reporter news video on the development:
Cohen used the same ruse to mock former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, other Republicans, as well as other political figures. One Georgia state lawmaker resigned after his embarrassing episode with Cohen aired.