Moore and his wife, Kayla, are suing Cohen, Showtime and its corporate owner, CBS, for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud in connection with the episode, according to a federal complaint filed Wednesday in the District of Columbia. They are seeking more than $95 million in damages.
The Moores claim that the defendants falsely portrayed Roy Moore as a “a pedophile and sex offender” on national television and worldwide.
Neither Cohen’s nor CBS’ representatives have responded to CNN’s request for comment.
Showtime does not comment on pending litigation, a company spokesperson told CNN on Thursday, adding that Showtime had not been served with the complaint.
Moore expected to get an award, suit states
The interview took place in February, two months after Moore’s Senate campaign ended, under the guise that purported producers of a fake Israeli television station called “Yerushalayim TV” had invited Moore to Washington, the lawsuit states.
Moore believed he would receive an award for “his strong support of Israel” during the interview, according to the lawsuit.
In a statement, Moore’s attorney said his client was defrauded and defamed by Cohen, adding the actor “falsely and fraudulently mocked and cast Judge Moore as a pedophile.”
“Sasha Baron Cohen, who is not only low class but also a fraudster, will now, along with Showtime and CBS, be held accountable for his outrageous and false, fraudulent and defamatory conduct which callously did great emotional and other damage to (this) great man and his wife and family,” attorney Larry Klayman said in the statement.
Other pols have been tricked on the show
Other politicians have also appeared in Cohen’s satirical show.
Jason Spencer, a Georgia state lawmaker, was pranked into believing Cohen was an Israeli anti-terrorism expert. Cohen, in character, then managed to convince the legislator that a series of racist acts would protect him against terrorists.
Spencer, a Republican, engaged in a series of exercises, including dropping his trousers and repeatedly using a racial slur. He resigned from the Georgia House shortly after the episode aired.