Roy Moore, a former Republican candidate for a US Senate seat in Alabama, claims in court documents that the consent he gave to Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen for appearing on his show is invalid because the contract was signed with the non-existent “Yerushalayim TV” production company.
Moore has accused Baron Cohen of fraud, claiming he was tricked into appearing on the Jewish comedian’s satire show with a promised reward for his support of Israel.
In documents filed Wednesday at a federal court in Washington, DC, Roy Moore and his wife say a consent agreement he signed to appear on “Who is America” is invalid, as it was signed with the non-existent Yerushalayim TV and not Baron Cohen or the show’s producers Showtime and CBS.
“Yerushalayim” is the Hebrew name for Jerusalem.
Moore filed a lawsuit against Baron Cohen in September seeking $95 million in damages for “being falsely portrayed as a sex offender and pedophile” on the show. Moore was duped into appearing on a segment where Baron Cohen demonstrated a supposed pedophile detecting device that beeped when it came near Moore.
During last year’s Senate race, Moore faced accusations that he pursued romantic and sexual relationships with teens as young as 14 when he was a prosecutor in his 30s. He has denied the misconduct allegations.
The latest motion opposes Baron Cohen and the television network’s request to transfer Moore’s suit to a court New York, where the consent agreement states any legal proceedings regarding the Alabaman’s appearance must take place.
Moore’s lawyer argued that the consent agreement was signed under fraudulent pretenses and was therefore unenforceable.
“The first misrepresentation was that Judge Moore was being flown to Washington DC to receive an award for his support of Israel, when in actuality it was so that he could be falsely portrayed as a pedophile on national television. The second misrepresentation was that the television segment was being produced by Yerushalayim TV,” wrote Larry Klayman.
Furthermore, Klayman argued, even if the agreement is valid that Baron Cohen, Showtime and CBS have no standing to enforce it, as it was signed by Yerushalayim TV and not them.
“This is really a simple matter of basic contract law,” the lawyer wrote.
In the segment with Moore, Baron Cohen played Israeli military expert Erran Morad, one of his numerous fictitious personalities in the series.
He began the segment by praising Alabama for its strong support of Israel, as Moore smiled and nodded. Baron Cohen then demonstrated to Moore the latest “Israeli technology,” which he claimed can detect pedophiles, who, he explained, “excrete an enzyme 4DDHT which is actually detectable.”
Waving what appeared to be a standard handheld metal detector over himself, Baron Cohen said the device was only triggered when used on a pedophile. He then held the detector near Moore, and it began beeping.
Moore said, “I’ve been married for 33 years and I’ve never had an accusation of such things.” He said he’d had enough, thanked Baron Cohen for the interview, and walked off the set.
In addition to Moore, Baron Cohen’s latest show, which began airing in July, has zinged several other political figures.
In one episode, former Arizona sheriff and Senate candidate Joe Arpaio argued the benefits of gun ownership to a tiny toy doughnut.
Another episode led a Georgia state representative to resign after he shouted racial slurs and exposed his rear end in a supposed anti-terrorism self-defense drill.
Earlier this week Baron Cohen’s performance in “This is America” earned him an Emmy award nomination for best musical or comedy television actor.