Roy Moore, left, with Sacha Baron Cohen in “Who is America?”Screengrab from YouTube/Showtime
Roy Moore Files $95m Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen: ‘I Was Tricked’
Moore says he was tricked into the embarrassing interview with ‘Erran Morad,’ told he’d give an interview to an Israeli television network called ‘Yerushalayim TV’
The massive lawsuit was filed in a Washington, D.C. court on Wednesday.
In addition to Cohen himself, it also targets Showtime networks and CBS, the two corporations that aired Cohen’s show over the summer.
Moore appeared in one of the show’s episodes, during which Cohen interviewed him under the fictional identity of “Erran Morad,” a gruf Israeli military officer. In the course of the interview, Cohen-as-Morad asked to present Moore with a new Israeli innovation – a scanning device that identifies pedophiles. When Cohen “scanned” Moore with the device, it beeped. Moore then got up and left the interview.
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Last year, Moore made national headlines in the U.S. when he was running as the Republican nominee to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Moore was accused during the race by multiple women of sexual harassment or of trying to initiate sexual relationships with them when he was an adult man in his 30’s and they were under-aged. He denied the accusations, and eventually narrowly lost the Senate competition to Democrat Doug Jones. It was the first time in more than two decades that a Democrat won a Senate election in Alabama.
In his lawsuit against Cohen, Moore explains how he was tricked into the embarrassing interview with “Erran Morad.” Moore’s attorneys state that earlier this year, he was invited to Washington together with his wife to give an interview to an Israeli television network called “Yerushalayim TV.” In addition, Moore was told that he would receive an award from the network for his strong support of Israel, and that this award would be presented during the interview.
Only after sitting down for the interview in Washington, Moore says, he realized that he had been duped. “Had Judge Moore and Mrs. Moore known that ‘Erran Morad’ was actually Defendant Cohen, Judge Moore would never have agreed to be interviewed,” states the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also says that “this false and fraudulent portrayal and mocking Judge Moore as a sex offender, on national and international television, which was widely broadcast, has severely harmed Judge Moore’s reputation and caused him, Mrs. Moore and his entire family severe emotional distress and financial damage.”
Moore, according to the lawsuit, sent Cohen, Showtime and CBS a letter prior to the airing of the episode in which he appeared, warning them not to include the interview or else he would file a lawsuit. Moore also claims that a “release document” he signed before the interview took place was “signed and obtained through fraud” and is therefore “void and inoperative.”