A federal judge in New York on Tuesday handed a defeat to former Alabama Chief Justice Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore loses lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen Shelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race Of inmates and asylums: Today's House Republicans make the John Birchers look quaint MORE in his lawsuit against actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, of "Borat" fame.
In a 26-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John Cronan said Moore had waived his right to sue over a satirical segment that appeared on a 2018 episode of Cohen’s comedy series “Who is America?”
Moore and his wife, Kayla Moore, brought the suit for defamation and emotional distress after the former judge was duped into sitting for an interview with the comedian. During the segment, Cohen posed as an Israeli counterterrorism expert and suggested Roy Moore was a pedophile by using what he claimed was a detection device invented by the Israeli army.
Roy Moore lost a 2017 special election for Alabama’s open Senate seat after allegations emerged that he had pursued romantic relationships with teenagers while he was in his 30s, with some of the women accusing him of sexual misconduct, including assault. He has denied the claims.
In his ruling, Cronan said Roy Moore’s claims were “barred by the unambiguous contractual language” that he agreed to be bound by. Additionally, Cronan ruled that Kayla Moore’s claims were barred by the First Amendment.
“Given the satirical nature of that segment and the context in which it was presented, no reasonable viewer would have interpreted Cohen’s conduct during the interview as asserting factual statements concerning Judge Moore,” Cronan wrote.