A three-judge panel in the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan unanimously ruled Thursday to throw out a $95 million lawsuit brought by former Alabama judge Roy Moore against actor Sacha Baron Cohen. In the lawsuit, Moore claims the British comedian had defamed him in a program where he imlied Moore was a pedophile.
The lawsuit also named Showtime and its corporate owner, CBS as defendants, over a segment of the “Who Is America?” program, which aired on Showtime in 2018.
During the segment, Cohen interviewed Moore, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama and controversial Republican who lost a special election to fill the US Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, under the ruse of receiving a prize in honor of his support for the state of Israel.
Baron Cohen presented himself as an Israeli anti-terrorism expert and former intelligence agent in the segment, during which he showed news clips reporting allegations from the time of Judge Moore’s Senate campaign that he had engaged in sexual misconduct.
While in character, Baron Cohen described a fictional “pedophile detector.” During the episode, the device — which looks like a hand-held metal detector — was shown beeping near Moore, implying that he was a pedophile. Moore walked out of the interview.
After the ruling, Baron Cohen’s attorney Russell Smith told CNN: “After nearly four years of litigation, it seems Mr. Moore’s frivolous lawsuit is finally over.”
Watch the segment below: