Sasha Baron Cohen Responds to Rebel Wilson’s Claim He ‘Harassed’ Her on Set of 2016 Comedy

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Rebel Wilson has revealed that the “a--hole” co-star she referred to last week in a cryptic Instagram post is none other than Borat star Sasha Baron Cohen. Wilson clarified the information in a follow-up IG post on March 25, leading Cohen to issue a statement refuting her claims.

In the original post, Wilson teased that she now institutes a “no a--holes” policy on her sets after working with “a massive a--hole” near the beginning of her career. She promised to reveal the full story, and the star’s identity, in her forthcoming memoir Rebel Rising. In a later comment, Wilson alleged that the person was trying to stop her book’s release.

“Now the a--hole is trying to threaten me. He’s hired a crisis PR manager and lawyers,” she claimed. “He’s trying to stop press coming out about my new book. But the book WILL come out and you will all know the truth.”

On Monday, Wilson confirmed in a since-deleted post what many had already suspected: the person in question is shock comedian Cohen.

“I will not be bullied or silenced with high-priced lawyers or PR crisis managers,” Wilson raged. “The ‘a--hole’ that I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is Sasha Baron Cohen.”

The two starred together in Louis Leterrier’s gross-out 2016 action-comedy Grimsby (aka The Brothers Grimsby), in which Cohen played low-class soccer hooligan Nobby, and Wilson his sexually rambunctious spouse.

It’s no secret that Wilson hated working with Cohen on the ill-received movie. She’s given several interviews over the last decade detailing her experiences on the set. Notably, the first time she spoke about it was in 2014—two years before Grimsby was even released.

She told Los Angeles radio station Kiis FM (via that Cohen spent the duration of production trying to talk Wilson into getting naked for the climactic sequence. She repeatedly declined, perhaps sensing that the film’s inevitable quality wouldn’t be worth such a sacrifice.

“Sasha is so outrageous,” Wilson began the 2014 interview, somewhat facetiously. “Every single day he’s like, ‘Rebel, can you just go naked in this scene?’ And I’m like, ‘No!’”

Wilson explained she had a strict “no nudity” clause in her contract, but that didn’t stop her co-star from asking for more.

“Sacha and I have the same agent in America and I’m like, ‘Sacha, I’m going to call our agent Sharon and tell her how much you are harassing me.’ Every day he’s like, ‘Just go naked, it will be funny. Remember in Borat when I did that naked scene? It was hilarious.’”

Wilson reported that the harassment went on until the final day of filming. “On the last day I thought I’d obviously won the argument, and he got a body double to do the naked scene,” she lamented.

Wilson later described her body double to Marie Claire (via Yahoo News U.K.) as “a larger South African burlesque dancer,” a choice she seemed to view as disrespectful.

Adding credence to Wilson’s claims is Grimsby itself. Her character’s nude scene comes during the finale, as Nobby and his fellow hooligans storm the field to save mankind from a devastating virus.

Amidst the chaos, Wilson is first shown in close-up leading the charge before a time-lapse shot shows her body double, from a significant distance, passing the camera fully nude. It’s the definition of a throw-away joke, and looks as though it may have been accomplished digitally, or with reshoots. If you didn’t know the backstory, you might not even realize it’s supposed to be Wilson’s character in the frame.

Despite a fair amount of evidence in place to seemingly back up Wilson’s claim, Cohen issued a statement through his representatives (via TMZ) on Monday disputing her version of events.

"While we appreciate the importance of speaking out, these demonstrably false claims are directly contradicted by extensive detailed evidence, including contemporaneous documents, film footage, and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during, and after the production of The Brothers Grimsby," they claim.

Wilson has yet to respond to Cohen’s statement. Her book, Rebel Rising, hits shelves on April 2 and is available for pre-order now through Simon and Schuster.