The woman who was deceived into being one of the characters in Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest “Borat” film got only $3,600 out of it, after which her pastor set up a GoFundMe to support her.
Jeanise Jones, 62, was chosen by the makers of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” after they came to her church in Oklahoma City under the pretense of seeking “elderly black women” for a documentary, Jones told Variety in an interview published Wednesday.
The film, which premiered Oct. 23 on Amazon Prime, follows Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) as he attempts to sell off his 15-year-old daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) to an older man. Jones is hired to babysit Tutar, who is introduced to her wearing a ball-and-chain and using a dog’s water bowl.
Jones, a mother of three and grandmother of six, garnered acclaim from audiences for being the unwitting “moral compass” of the film by showing kindness to Tutar, who she believed was being victimized and for whom her church prayed regularly, according to an interview with Showbiz 411.
“I totally believed she was 15 and that he had left her there with me,” Jones said regarding Bakalova’s character, who is actually 24. “She told me she was being groomed to be Donald Trump’s mistress if she didn’t find another rich husband. She had to find a rich husband to save her father. I believed her, she was good.”
Jones reportedly told the New York Post that she felt “betrayed” by the experience, though she later disputed that quote to Variety. “I saw that comment, and I had to let them know that I never felt betrayed,” she said. “What I said was that I didn’t know it was a movie or an R-rated movie. ‘Betrayed’ never came out of my mouth. I don’t know where they got that from. I’m not ever going to say I was betrayed because it was partially my fault I didn’t read the contracts. I’ll take my responsibility on that.”
Jones, who finds herself unemployed because of COVID-19, nevertheless wishes she had been paid more than the $3,600 she made for her part in the film, which is being distributed on the platform owned by Jeff Bezos, who himself is worth $200 billion. Jones’ pastor, Rev. Derrick Scobey of Ebenezer Baptist Church, set up a GoFundMe to support her, which is less than $10,000 short of its $100,000 goal as of Wednesday night.
“Please consider saying thank you to Jeanise with a tangible gift,” Scobey wrote in part. “She’s unemployed right now due to Covid. Previously, she worked on a job for 32 years! She’s faithful! Please consider giving a contribution to simply to say thank you to Jeanise for being ‘A moral compass and a light shining in darkness’ in this movie. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Sacha Cohen Baron and Monica Levinson (Producer) for casting Jeanise in this movie.”
Related: WALSH: Sacha Baron Cohen Is A Rich Hollywood Jerk Who Humiliates Middle Class Americans For Fun