Showtime has fired back — legally speaking — at Judge Roy Moore’s lawsuit over his appearance its Sacha Baron Cohen series Who Is America? The premium cabler filed a motion today for a change of venue from U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to the Southern District of New York, which covers Manhattan.
In its Motion to Transfer (read it here), Showtime cites a Memorandum of Points and Authorities (read it here) and a declaration by the show’s director/executive producer Todd Schulman (read it here), in which he makes clear that Moore signed a Standard Consent Agreement that’s included in the filing.
“As the Consent Agreement states,” Schulman’s filing reads, “Judge Moore entered into the Consent Agreement ‘[i]n exchange for the Producer making a $200 donation to a charity chosen by the Participant and allowing an opportunity for the Participant to appear in a television series.’ Beneath this typed paragraph ‘Foundation for Moral Law’ is written in pen.” It also notes that Moore’s wife was in the room when the document was signed on February 14 and that she “was made aware that Judge Moore was signing the Consent Agreement.”
Schulman’s filing adds that the $200 donation was made to that charity six days later.
The case stems from Moore’s appearance on Who Is America? — during which he was interviewed by an “Israeli anti-terrorism expert,” who actually was Baron Cohen. Moore was given an expenses-paid trip to Washington, ostensibly to receive an award for supporting Israel. Moore sat with Baron Cohen to discuss technological advancements to thwart terrorist attacks. Baron Cohen told him, in character, that Israel was using seismic waves to detect tunnels Hamas was using to launch terrorist attacks.
But things took a turn when Baron Cohen noted that the technology later was adapted to identify perpetrators of sexual misconduct, claiming that pedophiles, in particular, secreted a certain enzyme that could be detected by an electronic wand. He then “tested” the device on Moore — who was accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls in the 1970s and ’80s — and it emitted a beeping sound. It only got cringier from there; watch a clip of their sit-down here.