Co­me­dian Co­hen asks judge to dis­miss Moore law­suit

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE -

MONT­GOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Co­me­dian Sacha Baron Co­hen asked a fed­eral judge to dis­miss Roy Moore’s defama­tion law­suit over a tele­vi­sion seg­ment that lam­pooned Moore in the wake of sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions.

Lawyers for Baron Co­hen, Show­time Net­works and CBS wrote last week in a joint court fil­ing that Moore signed an agree­ment waiv­ing all le­gal claims be­fore ap­pear­ing on the “Who is Amer­ica?” seg­ment. They said in the agree­ment that Moore waived claims re­lated to the pro­gram and any­one as­so­ci­ated with it. They also said the seg­ment was satire and is pro­tected un­der the First Amend­ment.

“This law­suit con­flicts di­rectly with the long tra­di­tion of First Amend­ment pro­tec­tion for po­lit­i­cal par­ody and satire of pub­lic fig­ures — es­pe­cially where the satir­i­cal work ‘could not rea­son­ably have been in­ter­preted as stat­ing ac­tual facts about the pub­lic fig­ure in­volved,”’ lawyers wrote.

The seg­ment ran af­ter Moore faced mis­con­duct ac­cu­sa­tions dur­ing the 2017 Se­nate race in Alabama. He has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions and is run­ning for Se­nate again in 2020.

Moore said he was told he was re­ceiv­ing an award for sup­port­ing Is­rael when he agreed to ap­pear on the show. In­stead, Baron Co­hen lam­pooned him as a pos­si­ble pe­dophile.

In the seg­ment, Baron Co­hen ap­peared as faux coun­tert­er­ror­ism in­struc­tor “Col. Er­ran Mo­rad,” dis­cussing bo­gus mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing a sup­posed pe­dophile de­tec­tor. The de­vice re­peat­edly beeped as it got near Moore, who sat stone­faced.

Moore ar­gued that the waiver was fraud­u­lently ob­tained be­cause it did not dis­close he was deal­ing with the comic.

Baron Co­hen has faced past law­suits over sim­i­lar pranks, but those ac­tions were tossed be­cause the in­di­vid­u­als had signed re­leases.

In 2008, a New York judge tossed out law­suits brought by a driv­ing in­struc­tor and two eti­quette school teach­ers who said they were duped into ap­pear­ing in the movie “Bo­rat” in which Baron Co­hen plays an awk­ward for­eign jour­nal­ist trav­el­ing the United States.

Baron Co­hen

Roy Moore

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