Bruno's 'Terrorist' Suing Sacha Baron Cohen For Half of His Bomb's Profits
Ayman Abu Aita, an unwitting star of Brüno who found himself credited as "Terrorist group leader, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade," is suing Sacha Baron Cohen for $115 million for defamation. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Abu Aita insisted he's a simple grocer and a pacifist -- a "Christian activist who works for a charity in the territory," they report -- who had been duped by Cohen into sitting for an interview about Palestinian life at a hotel in Bethlehem. There the two talked about that subject for two hours, before Cohen veered towards the topic of Osama bin Laden.
Before Mr Abu Aita can respond, Brüno suggests he remove his moustache 'because your king Osama looks like a kind of dirty wizard or homeless Santa.'
Mr Abu Aita says his response was edited out. 'I was angered by the question. I said, first of all I'm not a terrorist. Second, you are a guest here so I must take care of you until you leave my country,' he said.
Abu Aita claims he never signed a release, and that his opponents in a Palestinian election in which he's running have been referencing his appearance to discredit him. (On the other hand, Alabama Pastor Jody "Blow-Job Lips" Trautwein has been using the notoriety to his advantage in his bid for Mayor of Birmingham.)
The lawsuit seeks $115 million in damages, equaling half of the movie's gross box office -- odd, as to date it's only taken $137 million globally. In addition to Cohen, it also names NBC, Universal, and even David Letterman, on whose show Cohen furthered the terrorist claims, saying he'd found Abu Aita through the help of the CIA.
· Palestinian 'terrorist' takes aim at Bruno [Haaretz.com]