Roy Moore, the US politician and former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, is suing Sacha Baron Cohen for defamation, after he appeared on the comedian’s latest show, Who Is America?
In a sketch for the series, Moore was duped into sitting for an interview with Cohen’s character Erran Morad, an Israeli security expert.
During the segment, Cohen brought in a supposed ‘paedophile detector’ device.
Waving the detector near Moore, it consistently bleeped, with Moore becoming increasingly irrate.
“I’ve been married for 33 years. Never had an accusation of such things. Certainly, I’m not a paedophile, OK?” he said on the show.
Now, Moore is seeking $95 million (around £75 million) in damages from the production company behind the series, the US broadcaster Showtime, and the CBS network.
“Defendant Cohen’s character falsely and fraudulently introduced a false and fraudulent ‘device’ supposedly invented by the Israeli Army to detect paedophiles,” the court documents read.
“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.
“This false and fraudulent portrayal and mocking of Judge Moore as a sex offender, on national and international television, which was widely broadcast in this district on national television and worldwide, has severely harmed Judge Moore’s reputation and caused him, Mrs Moore, and his entire family severe emotional distress, as well as caused and will cause plaintiffs financial damage.”
During Moore’s campaign for the senate last year, nine women came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers.
Moore denied the accusations, but he ultimately lost the senate race to Doug Jones, his democratic opponent.
He later claimed that the accusations were part of a conspiracy to undermine his campaign, and also filed defamation lawsuits against the women who accused him.
Cohen took aim at a host of politicians during the series, including former vice president Dick Cheney and Bernie Sanders.
He also convinced former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin into an interview, though the piece did not make the final show.
Palin had threatened legal action against Cohen after realising she’d been duped.