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Crime News

Sacha Baron Cohen, Showtime Sued By Failed Alabama Candidate Over 'Who Is America?' Stunt

Former Senate candidate Roy Moore is accusing the comedian and actor of falsely portraying him as a sex offender.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Sacha Baron Cohen may be in legal hot water following one of his stunts. Cohen has left a slew of disgruntled politicians in his wake while filming his satirical Showtime series “Who Is America?” but one in particular has decided to take legal action against the comedian.

Former Senate candidate Roy Moore filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in federal court in Washington D.C., citing defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud, The New York Times reports. Moore’s suit, which names Cohen, Showtime, and CBS, is seeking more than $95 million.

Moore appeared in one episode of Cohen’s show, during which Cohen, disguised as an anti-terrorism expert, waved what he claimed was a device that could detect pedophiles. The device, which resembled a metal detector, beeped once it was waved near Moore, who promptly ended the interview.

While running for Senate last year, Moore was accused by numerous women of sexual misconduct, with many of them claiming that he propositioned them when they were under the age of 18. Moore denied the allegations and filed a lawsuit against three of the women earlier this year, citing defamation and claiming that they were part of a “political conspiracy” that cost him a Senate seat.

According to The Times, Moore explained in his latest suit that he was duped into appearing on Cohen’s show after producers, while pretending to be representatives of a non-existent Israeli TV network, claimed that they wanted to give him an award for his “strong support of Israel.” Instead, Moore was falsely portrayed as a sex offender, he said in his suit.

Moore’s wife Kayla, who did not appear on Cohen’s show, is also listed as a plaintiff. Both are being represented by Larry Klayman, founder of conservative foundation Judicial Watch.

In a statement to The Guardian, Klayman called for Cohen and the networks he works with to be held responsible.

“Sacha Baron Cohen, who is not only low class but also a fraudster, will now, along with Showtime and CBS, be held accountable for his outrageous and false, fraudulent and defamatory conduct which callously did great emotional and other damage to this great man and his wife and family,” Klayman said.

A representative for Showtime told The Guardian that the company does not comment on pending litigation. Representatives for Cohen have yet to release a statement on the pending legal action.

Moore formerly commented on his “Who Is America?” appearance in July, before the show even premiered, and threatened to take legal action if Showtime aired the segment he appeared in, Variety reports.

“I did not know Sacha Cohen or that a Showtime TV series was being planned to embarrass, humiliate, and mock not only Israel, but also religious conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Joe Walsh, and Dick Cheney,” he said.

Moore is one of numerous politicians whose appearances on Cohen’s show have been controversial. Georgia state Rep. Jason Spencer resigned in July after he was seen in an episode shouting racial slurs and revealing his bare bottom.

[Photo: Sacha Baron Cohen attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. By George Pimentel/WireImage via Getty Images]