Kid Rock's After - Party For The 2003 American Music Awards- Red Carpet/Inside Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage) DA ALI G SHOW, Sacha Baron Cohen (as Borat), 2003-, photo: © HBO / Courtesy: Everett Collection
Credit: Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage; Everett Collection

In the 2006 film Borat, the titular character (Sacha Baron Cohen) approaches Baywatch star Pamela Anderson at a book signing, asks her to marry him, and proceeds to try to force her into his “traditional marriage sack” so he can whisk her off to Kazakhstan to be his bride. (And that’s just the setup for this story!)

Shortly after the film’s release, Anderson filed for divorce from then-husband Kid Rock, and rumors abounded that her appearance in Borat was to blame. Indeed, tabloids reported at the time that, after a screening of the film, the musician began screaming at Anderson, allegedly saying, “You’re nothing but a whore! You’re a slut! How could you do that movie?”

The couple did divorce, but it was never made clear whether Borat was actually the cause. Until today, that is. On an upcoming episode of The Daily Beast‘s podcast The Last Laugh, Baron Cohen insists the story is true, saying he texted Anderson after the screening in question and asked, “How did it go? What did he think?”

“And she texted back, ‘He’s getting divorced,'” Baron Cohen says. “I was like, why? And she goes, ‘The movie.’ And I thought it was a joke, but then a few weeks later they got divorced and they put as a reason for divorce, Borat.”

Anderson, necessarily, was one of the few people to appear in the mockumentary film who was aware of its central schtick — that is, that Borat was a character played by an actor. “Otherwise it would have been kidnapping,” Baron Cohen quips on the podcast. “And we did that scene twice, actually. The first time we did it at a book signing and I grabbed her over my shoulder and ran out with her and no one did anything. I was like, what kind of fans are these?” On the second attempt, the crowd ran after them, but Anderson accidentally “clipped her jaw.”

“She lost two things. One, she lost a tiny bit of bone from her jaw,” Baron Cohen says. “And secondly, she lost a husband.”

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Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
  • Movie
  • 83 minutes