UK & World News
Sacha Baron Cohen Settles Bruno Slander Case
A Palestinian grocer who was portrayed as a terrorist in Sacha Baron Cohen's movie Bruno has settled his slander action against the star.
Ayman Abu Aita had also sued David Letterman after Baron Cohen appeared on the Late Show and discussed the movie with the TV host.
Abu Aita's lawyer Joseph Drennan said the case against Baron Cohen and Letterman had now been settled to the "mutual satisfaction" of everyone involved.
Drennan would not discuss the terms of the settlement, but court records confirm the case has now been designated "settled and closed".
Lawyers for Baron Cohen, Letterman and other defendants involved with the movie and Letterman's Late Show did not immediately return calls.
In Bruno, which was released in 2009, British actor Baron Cohen plays an Austrian fashion journalist aiming to make peace in the Middle East.
He interviewed Abu Aita, who was labelled in a caption as a member of the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.
The organisation has been designated as a terrorist group by the governments of Israel, the United States, Canada, Japan and the European Union.
Baron Cohen discussed Bruno's encounter with the "terrorist" when he appeared on the CBS programme Late Show With David Letterman.
But Abu Aita, who lives near Bethlehem, described himself as a Christian and a "peace-loving person" who was living in the West Bank.
Court papers filed on his behalf said he had never associated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade or been involved in any terrorist activity.
He complained that he went to the interview that appeared in Bruno thinking he was talking to a journalist about peace activism.
Instead, he said his portrayal in the movie spurred death threats against him, damaged his business and made him fear for his family's safety.
He had been seeking millions of dollars in damages.
Baron Cohen is known for crafting outlandish characters such as Ali G, Borat and Admiral General Aladeen from his latest movie The Dictator.
He often dupes people into giving interviews so he can film their reactions to his antics.
Lawyers for Baron Cohen and Letterman had tried to claim the rights governing free speech protected the statements that were made about Abu Aita in both Bruno and the Late Show interview.
They said Abu Aita's "name or likeness was used in a newsworthy context in a documentary-style movie that conveys matters of legitimate public interest".
what do you think?
Sasha baron Coen has an agenda to make Germans, Austrians and Muslims look rubbish. For years Hollywood has been of people of his faith making everyone look rubbish.
I'll think your find that Joseph Goebbels na** propoganda minister portrayed his race of being unworthy in 1930's germany
You have got to give Sasha credit where it's due he is very clever inventing his characters it was only a matter of time before he really pushed it a bit to far and someone launched some legal action against him
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Probably the best thing to ever happen to him really