EXCLUSIVE: The lawsuit filed by the Estate of Judith Dim Evans, a Holocaust survivor depicted in the satire Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, has been dismissed by Fulton County Georgia Judge Kevin Farmer. He referred to several defects in the plaintiff’s case, some of which were pointed out by the defendants.
Here is a statement from attorney Russell Smith, who repped Amazon in the proceeding:
“The lawsuit was dismissed, unconditionally. The lawsuit is over. Sacha Baron Cohen was deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with Judith Dim Evans, whose compassion and courage as a Holocaust survivor has touched the hearts of millions of people who have seen the film. Judith’s life is a powerful rebuke to those who deny the Holocaust, and with this film and his activism, Sacha Baron Cohen will continue his advocacy to combat Holocaust denial around the world.”
The suit claims Evans participated not knowing she was in a satire, one the suit claims was done to “mock the Holocaust and Jewish culture.” While the lawsuit reverberated in the press — it was the one unpleasant surprise in an opening weekend that was dominated in back-and-forth tweets between Baron Cohen and barbs from President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani — sources close to the filmmakers told me when word spread about the suit there might well be a change of heart after the movie is seen because the whole point of including Dim Evans was to do exactly the opposite. And she was clued in on the gag after it was shot, and there is footage of it.
Baron Cohen dedicates the movie to Evans, who died after filming. I’m told that he for the first time while making one of his movies — where most everyone but him is an unwitting participant — out of respect he had someone tell Evans and the friend who shares the scene with her that Baron Cohen himself is Jewish and playing an ignorant character as a means of Holocaust education, by featuring a Holocaust survivor who ends up challenging the anti-Semite by charmingly telling her own story.
The filmmakers separately helped other Dim Evans’ family members to create a website in her honor, and I’ve heard that Baron Cohen and Amazon Prime are working on a place for her cut footage to be viewed on Amazon Prime and its X-Ray bonus content for viewers of the film to hear Evans tell the story of what happened to her family during World War II.