Thursday, December 08, 2022

Court rejects Roy Moore’s $ 95 million defamation suit against Sacha Baron Cohen

An appeals court on Thursday rejected a $ 95 million defamation lawsuit against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen filed by former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who said he was misled in a televised appearance accusing him of sexual misconduct against him.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, which upheld a lower court’s ruling in favor of Baron Cohen, said Moore had signed a disclosure agreement banning any legal claims over the appearance.

The three judges also found it was “clear comedy” when Baron Cohen demonstrated a so-called pedophile whistleblower who beeped when it came near Moore and no viewer would think the comedian was making factual allegations against Moore.

The lawsuit centered on Moore’s ignorant appearance on the cartoon’s “Who is America?” Show. The segment ran after Moore faced misconduct allegations during Alabama’s 2017 U.S. Senate race that he pursued sexual and romantic relationships with teens when he was a man in his 30s. He denied the allegations.

Moore, a Republican known for his tough stance against hom-sex marriages and supporting the public display of Ten Commandments, was told he was receiving an award for supporting Israel. But in the segment, Baron Cohen appeared as a faux anti-terrorism instructor “Col. Erran Morad ”discusses fake military technology, including the alleged pedophile whistleblower. The fake device repeatedly beeped when it came near Moore, who was sitting with a stone face.

“Baron Cohen may have implied (despite his character waivers of any conviction that Judge Moore was a pedophile) that he believed Judge Moore’s accusers, but he did not imply the existence of any independent factual basis for that conviction. , except for the obviously witty pedophile who locates. ‘device’, which no reasonable person could believe to be a real, functional piece of technology, ”the court wrote in the unsigned summary order.

Moore and his wife, Kayla, sued, arguing that the segment slandered Moore and caused them emotional distress. The couple claimed the pardon Moore signed was unenforceable because it was obtained under a false representation. The Court of Appeals noted that it was indeed a scam that Moore got to appear on the program, but Moore signed a binding release in which he waives all legal claims.

The allegations against Moore contributed to his loss to Democrat Doug Jones, the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate in a quarter of a century. The seat returned to Republican control when Jones lost the next election to Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a former college football coach.

Baron Cohen has lured ignorant politicians into awkward interviews for years. He has faced previous lawsuits over similar scams, but these have also been thrown out because the individuals have signed releases.

Moore and his wife indicated they were going to appeal.

“For far too long, the American people have been subject to the antics of Sasha Baron Cohen. His willful and deceptive actions must be stopped. We will appeal, “the couple said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

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