Sacha Baron Cohen's Lawyer Says Justice Finally Served as Roy Moore's $95M Suit Thrown Out

Sacha Baron Cohen's legal counsel has told Newsweek that justice has "finally" been served, after a federal judge threw out Roy Moore's $95 million defamation lawsuit against the comedian on Tuesday.

Moore, a defeated Alabama Senate candidate and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, also sued Baron Cohen for "intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud" in September 2018, after appearing on the star's Who Is America? satire show.

During the show, Baron Cohen was seen posing as an Israeli anti-terror expert as he ran a "pedophile detector" wand over Moore, whose bid for Congress was derailed by eight allegations of sexual harassment.

The politician subsequently walked out of the interview after the fake wand went off multiple times during the interview, which was aired on Showtime in July 2018.

Several weeks later, Moore filed suit against Baron Cohen, with his complaint reading: "During the segment that featured Judge Moore, Defendant Cohen—while falsely and fraudulently disguised as the character Erran Morad, a supposed Israeli anti-terrorism expert and former Mossad agent—falsely painted, portrayed, mocked and with malice defamed Judge Moore as a sex offender, which he is not.

"This false and fraudulent portrayal and mocking of Judge Moore as a sex offender, on national and international television, which was widely broadcast in this district...has severely harmed Judge Moore's reputation and caused him, Mrs. Moore, and his entire family severe emotional distress, as well as caused and will cause Plaintiffs financial damage."

However, the suit was thrown out by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, with U.S. District Court Judge John P. Cronan stating: "Defendants have moved for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiffs' claims are barred by both a waiver clause in the agreement that Judge Moore signed prior to the interview and also by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

Referring to the "pedophile detector" moment on the show, Judge Cronan said: "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."

Russell Smith of SmithDehn LLP, counsel for Baron Cohen, told Newsweek after the ruling: "Mr. Moore's lawyers were able to drag out this absurd case for well over two years, but finally justice has been done."

According to Deadline, lawyers for Moore have filed paperwork stating their intention to appeal the decision.

Moore stated in July 2018 that he had been duped by Baron Cohen for the show.

In a statement shared on Facebook weeks before the episode aired, he said that he had been invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to receive an award for his support of Israel in commemoration of its 70th anniversary as a nation.

He wrote: "I don't need Sacha Cohen to tell me who America is, but I can tell him that America is a proud Nation which sprang from humble beginnings and a strong belief in God, virtue, and morality.

"I am involved in several court cases presently to defend my honor and character against vicious false political attacks by liberals like Cohen. If Showtime airs a defamatory attack on my character, I may very well be involved in another."

The series also showed Baron Cohen duping a host of other politicians—including Sarah Palin, Joe Wilson, and Dana Rohrabacher—into agreeing to interviews with him in disguise. The British comedian also got former Vice President Dick Cheney to autograph a "waterboard kit."

Sacha Baron Cohen and Roy Moore
A judge has thrown out Roy Moore's (R) $95 million defamation lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen (L), after his appearance on the star's satire show "Who is America?" in 2018. Mark Wilson/Getty Images/Rick Rycroft-Pool/Getty Images