Roy Moore sues Sacha Baron Cohen $95M for defamation over TV prank

Roy Moore_Sasha Baron Cohen
[Photo Credit: Showtime]

Former Alabama Chief Justice and failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has made good on his threat to sue Sacha Baron Cohen after he was fooled into appearing on Cohen’s Showtime series, “Who Is America?”

Moore’s lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is against Cohen, CBS and Showtime for fraud, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He’s seeking $95 million in punitive and compensatory damages for a July 29 episode of the series. In the episode, Cohen pranked Moore by posing as an Israeli intelligence officer with an electronic device he said could detect pedophiles. In the clip, Cohen waves the device over himself and nothing happens, then near Moore, and a loud beep is heard. Cohen repeats the demonstration several times showing that the devices is detecting that Moore is a pedophile.

Ultimately, Moore ended the interview. “I am simply cutting this conversation right now,” he said. “Good night. I support Israel. I don’t support this kind of stuff.”

The viral video clip, which was posted in July has since been viewed over four million times.

Now Moore is saying he “suffered extreme emotional distress” for “being falsely portrayed as a sex offender and pedophile.”

Moore says he and his wife Kayla never would have agreed to fly to Washington had they known the true reason for the trip — they were lured under the premise he was receiving an award for his “strong support of Israel” on an Israeli television network. Kayla, is also named as a plaintiff in the case.

“Defendant Cohen’s character falsely and fraudulently introduced a false and fraudulent ‘device’ supposedly invented by the Israeli Army to detect pedophiles,” read the complaint. “During the segment, Defendant Cohen’s ‘device’ — as part of the false and fraudulent routine — purports to detect Judge Moore as a sex offender, thus defaming him.”

Moore’s lawyer, Larry Klayman, in a prepared statement released Wednesday said said Moore is a man of “great faith, morality and intellect.”

“Judge Moore, a man of great faith, morality and intellect, is one of the finest people I have ever known. Sasha 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,” Klayman said.

Representatives for Cohen have not responded to any requests for comment. Showtime has told several outlets the network does not comment on pending litigation and isn’t aware of having been served with a lawsuit.

“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,” Showtime said in a statement.

Moore has filed several defamation lawsuits this year including one against the Highway 31 Super PAC accusing them of running widespread defamatory and misleading ads during the 2017 race, and another suit against several women for “irrevocable damage” to his reputation.

Moore came first came under fire in November 2017 when the Washington Post published a bombshell report that accused Moore of pursuing a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979. In the wake of that accusation, several other women stepped forward making similar claims. Moore has denied the allegations.

View the full complaint below: