Roy Moore, the former Alabama Republican senator who was accused of attempting to have sex with a 14-year-old when he was in his thirties, has filed a $95 million defamation lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen, Showtime and CBS, the TV network’s parent company.
The politician and former chief justice of Alabama’s supreme court appeared on Cohen’s Who Is America? in a segment where Baron Cohen, disguised as an Israeli anti-terror expert, waved what looked like a metal detector over Moore and claimed it could identify child molesters; it beeped when close to Moore. In addition to the monetary damages, Moore is seeking attorneys’ fees, according to the filing (via Variety).
Moore alleged that Baron Cohen duped him into appearing on the show with claims that he’d received an award for supporting Israel. He also claimed that Baron Cohen’s character claimed to work for Yerushalayim TV, “which does not actually exist.” The suit added that if the Moores had known that the character was actually Baron Cohen they “would have never agreed to be interviewed and, at a minimum, terminated the interview immediately” nor would they have traveled to Washington, D.C. for the interview.
Representatives for Moore and Baron Cohen did not immediately reply to requests for comment. A rep for CBS referred Rolling Stone to Showtime. A rep for Showtime told Rolling Stone, “The press has been sent copies of an alleged complaint, yet to our knowledge Showtime has not been served. With that said, we do not comment on pending litigation.”
“This false and fraudulent portrayal and mocking of Judge Moore as a sex offender, on national and international television, which was widely broadcast in this district on national television and worldwide, has severely harmed Judge Moore’s reputation and caused him, Mrs. Moore, and his entire family severe emotional distress, as well as caused and will cause Plaintiffs financial damage,” the lawsuit, which includes Mrs. Kayla Moore as a plaintiff, reads.
Moore signed a release prior to the taping and now claims that his signature was obtained through chicanery.
Moore lost a reelection bid for the senate last December, despite an endorsement from President Trump, to Democrat Doug Jones. Nine women had accused Moore of sexual misconduct, and three claimed he had allegedly sexually assaulted them.