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A judge Tuesday tossed out the defamation suit brought by failed Alabama US Senate candidate Roy Moore against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and cable network Showtime, new court papers show.
Moore filed the $95 million lawsuit in 2018 after he claimed he was duped into appearing on an episode of the “Borat” star’s show “Who Is America?” where he was confronted with a “pedophile detecting machine.”
Moore was accused during his campaign by multiple women of sexually assaulting and harassing them as teen in the 1970s.
Manhattan federal Judge John Cronan dismissed Moore’s case finding that he doesn’t have a claim because of a waiver he signed before he was interviewed by Baron Cohen. The judge also found that “reasonable viewers” would know that the interview was satirical rather than factual.
“The court agrees that Judge Moore’s claims are barred by the unambiguous contractual language, which precludes the very causes of action he now brings,” the decision reads.
“Given the satirical nature of that segment and the context in which it was presented, no reasonable viewer would have interpreted Cohen’s conduct during the interview as asserting factual statements concerning Judge Moore,” the judge wrote later in the ruling.
Moore’s lawyer Larry Klayman said in a statement that Cronan’s decision shows an “extreme bias” against Moore — a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice — and is the reason they had sought to disqualify Cronan from their case.
Klayman filed a notice of appeal later Tuesday.
During the mock interview segment with Moore, Baron Cohen — posing as an anti-terrorism expert from the Israeli Mossad — waved an metal detector over Moore and told him it was a device that the Israelis developed for sniffing out sex offenders.
Moore lost a special election in the deep red state in 2017 to Democrat Doug Jones, despite an endorsement from President Trump.
Showtime declined to comment. Lawyers for Baron Cohen didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
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