Judge dismisses $95 million defamation lawsuit by Alabama politician against Sacha Baron Cohen
Roy Moore sued the actor after appearing on Cohen's series, Who Is America? on Showtime.
For Sacha Baron Cohen, justice has "finally" been served, according to the actor's legal counsel, Russell Smith, who told Newsweek that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York had dismissed the $95 million defamation lawsuit brought against the actor by failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
"Mr. Moore's lawyers were able to drag out this absurd case for well over two years, but finally justice has been done," Smith told Newsweek.
In September 2018, Moore sued Cohen as well as Showtime and its parent company, CBS Corporation, for "intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud" after appearing on the actor's Who Is America? show where he posed as General Erran Morad — an Israeli anti-terrorism expert. During their talk, Cohen mentions he created technology that can detect pedophiles, a device that beeps when Moore takes it. (Moore had previously been accused of sexual misconduct towards female teenagers.)
According to Newsweek, Judge John P. Cronan dismissed the case, stating "defendants have moved for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiffs' claims are barred by both a waiver clause in the agreement that Judge Moore signed prior to the interview and also by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution... given the satirical nature of that segment and the context in which it was presented, no reasonable viewer would have interpreted Cohen's conduct during the interview as asserting factual statements concerning Judge Moore."
Moore was far from the only politician Baron Cohen duped into interviewing on his satire show. Sarah Palin, Joe Wilson, and Dana Rohrabacher all filmed interviews with the disguised actor. Georgia state lawmaker Jason Spencer even resigned from office following his appearance on the show.
Representatives for Cohen and Moore didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.