Advertisement
The VICE Guide to Right Now

Roy Moore Is Suing Sacha Baron Cohen for $95M After Pedophile Detector Bit

The failed Senate candidate claims the 'Who Is America?' clip caused "severe emotional distress" and "financial damage."

by Lauren Messman
Sep 5 2018, 9:05pm

Roy Moore, failed Senate candidate and accused sex offender, was one of many conservatives who wound up duped on Sacha Baron Cohen's Showtime show, Who Is America? But just like his long, drawn-out refusal to concede after losing the Alabama special election, it doesn't look like Moore plans to go quietly without a fight.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Moore just filed a lawsuit against Cohen, Showtime, and CBS for "defaming him" on the show, and is seeking $95 million in damages. The lawsuit alleges that the now infamous segment, in which Cohen as Erran Morad wands Moore with a device he claims is used to "detect" pedophiles, was a "set up" that "falsely painted, portrayed, mocked, and with malice defamed Judge Moore as a sex offender."

"Had Judge Moore and Mrs. Moore known that 'Erran Morad' was Defendant Cohen, Judge Moore would have never agreed to be interviewed and, at a minimum, terminated the interview immediately and Plaintiffs would not have agreed to travel to Washington D.C.," the lawsuit states.

Because Moore agreed to be interviewed under "false pretenses," the lawsuit claims Cohen and the network are liable for damages. It goes on to say that the segment caused Moore and his family "severe emotional distress and pain and financial damage, especially given his status as a prominent conservative and a God fearing person of faith."

In his case against Cohen and Showtime, Moore will have to prove that the defendants acted maliciously knowing that the statements they made about him were false, or that they completely disregarded the truth. The former Alabama judge has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, incidents that allegedly occurred mostly when he was in his 30s and his accusers were teenagers. He's since denied the allegations and gone on to sue four of his accusers for defamation.

Still, when the so-called pedophile detector beeps around Moore in the clip, he tells his interviewer, "I've been married for 33 [years] and never had an accusation of such things."

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Follow Lauren Messman on Twitter.