Golden Globe nominee Sacha Baron Cohen was all smiles at Showtime’s holiday party on Sunset Boulevard last night. But the Who Is America? creator can’t be cheered about Roy Moore’s contention today in his $95 million defamation suit that he was “fraudulently induced” to appear on the satire series earlier this year.
“There are at least two primary misrepresentations at issue,” reads the opposition by the failed Alabama Senate candidate and his spouse Kayla Moore to a motion by Cohen, Showtime and CBS to have the matter dismissed.
“The first misrepresentation was that Judge Moore was being flown to Washington D.C. to receive an award for his support of Israel, when in actuality it was so that he could be falsely portrayed as a pedophile on national television,” the Moores’ lawyer Larry Klayman, who is also representing ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in his recent $300 million suit against CNN and others, states of the February 14 filmed session with a heavily made up Cohen. “The second misrepresentation was that the television segment was being produced by Yerushalayim TV, and not Defendant Cohen, Showtime, and CBS.”
“As such, the venue clause in the purported ‘Consent Agreement’ that Defendants wish to now enforce is clearly void and unenforceable along with the remainder of the ‘Consent Agreement,’” adds the nine-page filing (read it here), also noting that Yerushalayim TV is a fake entity. “Holding otherwise contravenes not only well established contract common law, but also the notions of justice and fundamental fairness.”
Contacted by Deadline, Showtime declined comment on today’s filing about the seven-episode series, on which Moore and a supposed pedophile detector appeared for its July 29 airing. Alleged sexual assaults against minors and others played a pivotal role in Donald Trump-backed Moore’s loss to Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama’s December 2017 special election.
While it is true there seems to be no mention of Cohen, the cabler or its parent company on the agreement by “Yerushalayim Television, LLC,” it should also be noted that the Moores’ paperwork today misidentifies YT as being “incorporated in the state of Montana,” when in fact it is incorporated in Wyoming, home of that other WIA? guest Dick Cheney.
Typo aside, there’s also the fact that the consent agreement specifies that any dispute over Moore’s appearance would be dealt with in a New York court.
Yet, even when that change of venue was brought up by the defendants on October 23, nothing seems to have deterred the strident stance Moore has taken since he first filed suit September 5 in taking on trickster supreme Baron Cohen and the media giants behind him.
“Defendants’ motion is purely tactical, as they clearly perceive New York to a more favorable forum, where they will more than likely find a favorable left-leaning, pro-entertainment industry judge to rule in their favor,” reads the opposition from Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch, in culture-war language that seems to play more to Moore’s base than legal reality.
In terms of legal reality, Baron Cohen, Showtime and CBS Corp have until January 4 to reply to the opposition. Let’s see what their DC-based Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP lawyers come up with: Two day later, Baron Cohen is up for a Globe in the Best Performance by an Actor in a TV series Musical or Comedy category – maybe he’ll rescind his date offer to Sarah Palin and ask the Moores.
BTW, Yerushalayim is Hebrew for Jerusalem, where I doubt Moore will be meeting with many TV cameras next year.