Judge shuts down Roy Moore’s Defamation suit against Sacha Baron Cohen

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John Cronan ruled against former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in his defamation suit against prankster Sacha Baron Cohen, according to The Washington Examiner.

In his filing, Moore claimed to be the victim of defamation, fraud, and emotional distress due to Cohen’s satirical recreation of alleged interaction between Moore and those who accused him of sexual misconduct during his 2017 Senate race. 

Cronan ruled against Moore on Tuesday due, in part, to the obviously satirical nature of the video, plus Moore’s signature on the consent form which was signed before the interview with the former Senate candidate commenced. 

Additionally, the judge ruled that the statements Moore claims to have brought emotional distress and emotional damage to the former judge were covered under Cohen’s First Amendment rights.

According to Politico‘s coverage of the decision, Cohen interviewed Moore while wearing a disguise. The interview was for his “Who Is America?” satire series which was at the time, new. 

For his character, Cohen claimed to be an Israeli anti-terrorism expert who had a device that would identify pedophiles. He held the device near Moore, which then started to beep. 

Moore cut off the interview saying “I support Israel. I don’t support this kind of stuff.”

The eventual airing of the segment in 2018 was what Moore claimed to have caused the distress, and promoted him to seek $95 million in damages from Cohen, Showtime, and CBS. 

The Examiner did not immediately receive comment from attorneys for Moore and Baron Cohen on Tuesday’s decision.