Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice and Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore is suing Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime for damages of at least $95 million for having been duped into appearing on camera with Cohen in the “Who is America?” show.
Cohen’s project has generated outrage among conservatives for fooling high-profile personalities into believing they were being given an award, or being interviewed. Instead, Cohen created incredibly embarrassing situations, including accusing some of being pedophiles, on camera.
The lawsuit was filed by lawyer Larry Klayman, founder of FreedomWatchUSA, in federal court in Washington for defamation and fraud.
Moore was “induced,” along with his wife, Kayla, to travel to Washington.
Klayman said Moore “was falsely led by Cohen to believe that he would be interviewed and receive an award for his staunch support of Israel.”
“The occasion was to honor and commemorate the founding of the Jewish nation state on its 70th anniversary,” he said.
“Instead, Judge Moore was maliciously defamed and subjected, along with his wife, to intentional emotional distress, causing large damage to both of them.”
Klayman explained: “Importantly, as alleged in the complaint, Cohen falsely and fraudulently represented, in concert with Showtime and CBS, that the filming and airing of the show would be conducted by Yerushalayim TV – which does not actually exist. Instead of the real producer of the show, which is called ‘Who is America,’ was Showtime, owned by CBS.
“During the subsequent interview by Cohen, where he falsely and fraudulently disguised himself as Erran Morad, a retired Mossad intelligence agent, Cohen is alleged to also have falsely and fraudulently mocked and cast Judge Moore as a pedophile. When the false, fraudulent and defamatory nature of the interview became apparent, Judge Moore terminated it.”
While Moore signed a release for the interview, the case alleges that release itself was fraudulent.
Moore had warned of legal action should they air the interview, and they did.
“Judge Moore, a man of great faith, morality and intellect, is one of the finest people I have ever known,” Klayman said. “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 his great man and his wife and family.”
The filing demands a jury trial and seeks damages in excess of $95 million “and any other relief that this court may deem just.”
The actions by Cohen and his network subjected the Moore and his wife to widespread ridicule. They all “suffered loss of reputation, financial loss, and loss of time spent going to and being in Washington,” the complaint explains.
“Defendant Cohen and his agents including defendants Showtime and CBS knowingly made this false material representation to fraudulently induce Judge Moore to appear on the program, with Mrs. Moore present, where Defendant Cohen and defendants Showtime and CBS would falsely portray, mock and defame Judge Moore as a pedophile.”
The action alleges defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud.
“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 states.
Esquire recently reported the show has created a “buzz” for Showtime but has had mediocre ratings.