Roy Moore, the former Alabama judge who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2017, says in new legal filings that TV personality Sacha Baron Cohen duped him before filming a segment for his show, thus voiding a consent agreement Moore had signed.
Moore filed a $95 million defamation suit against Cohen in September. In his Showtime show "Who Is America?" Cohen points a device at Moore, claiming it detects sex offenders (during his contentious campaign, several woman made sexual allegations against Moore, including two who said they were sexually assaulted by Moore when they were aged 14 and 16).
In the latest filings, Moore's lawyers argue that Moore was “fraudulently induced” to appear on the satire show.
“The first misrepresentation was that Judge Moore was being flown to Washington D.C. 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,” Moore's lawyer Larry Klayman says, according to Deadline.
“The second misrepresentation was that the television segment was being produced by Yerushalayim TV, and not Defendant Cohen, Showtime, and CBS.”
“As such, the venue clause in the purported ‘Consent Agreement’ that Defendants wish to now enforce is clearly void and unenforceable along with the remainder of the ‘Consent Agreement,’” noting that Yerushalayim TV is a fake entity (Yerushalayim is Hebrew for Jerusalem). "Holding otherwise contravenes not only well established contract common law, but also the notions of justice and fundamental fairness.”
Lawyers for Showtime and Cohen say the consent agreement Moore signed stipulate "that any legal disputes would be handled in New York," The Hollywood Reporter writes. "Moore's complaint was filed in the District of Columbia, so Showtime argues for dismissal based on a lack of jurisdiction. And if Showtime wins the argument, it may win the overall case too since the consent agreement obviously entails consent (and waives claims)."
But Moore legal team says Showtime can't enforce the consent agreement.
"[T]he purported 'Consent Agreement' was strictly between Judge Moore and Yerushalayim TV," they write in the filing. "There is zero mention of Defendant Cohen, Defendant CBS, or Defendant Showtime in the 'Consent Agreement.' Yerushalayim Television, LLC is incorporated in the state of Montana [sic]. There is no indication on its Articles of Organization or Annual Report that it is in any way affiliated with any of the Defendants. As such, even if the Consent Agreement were a valid binding agreement — which it is not, as set forth above — Defendants clearly have no basis upon which to enforce its terms."
Deadline points out that “Yerushalayim Television, LLC,” is actually incorporated in Wyoming.
You can read the entire filing here.