Sacha Baron Cohen files a lawsuit against cannabis company claiming they didn’t get his permission to use his image on billboard
The entertainer in court docs claimed the company didn’t get his permission to use his image for a billboard in the state with the Borat character flashing thumbs up and exclaiming ‘It’s Nice.’
The legal team for Cohen, 49, said in court docs that in using his image as Bruno on a billboard, the company falsely advertised his image, violated copyright infringement and misappropriated his right of publicity, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The latest: Sacha Baron Cohen, 49, on Monday filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts against a cannabis company called Solar Therapeutics. He was snapped in Australia this past April
Cohen’s attorney David Condon said in legal docs that Baron Cohen ‘never has used cannabis in his life,’ and ‘never would participate in an advertising campaign for cannabis, for any amount of money.’
The legal complaint continued: ‘By use of the Billboard, the Defendants falsely have conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen has endorsed their products and is affiliated with their business.’
In the court filing, attorneys for Cohen – who has played roles including Borat Sagdiyev, Ali G, Bruno and Admiral General Aladeen – noted that the performer has had ‘countless opportunities’ to embark on a corporate sponsorship, but has not, to protect his career in acting and activism.
The court docs noted that Cohen is not, and has never been, a proponent of cannabis usage.
Details: The entertainer in court docs claimed the company didn’t get permission to use his image for a billboard with the Borat character flashing thumbs up and exclaiming, ‘It’s Nice’
The actor, seen earlier this year in a Golden Globes segment, to seek actual and punitive damages in its suit
‘With his Ali G character, portrayed by Mr. Baron Cohen in the HBO television series Da Ali G Show, Mr. Baron Cohen has spent much of his career making a mockery of “stoner” culture – a culture which the Defendants’ Billboard overtly celebrates,’ his court filing read, also citing his religious beliefs.
‘Baron Cohen was born into an Orthodox Jewish family; he is an Observant Jew; and he is proud of his cultural heritage,’ his court complaint stated. ‘He does not wish to be involved in the heated controversy among the Orthodox Jewish community about whether cannabis can be used under Jewish traditions, customs, and rules.’
Baron Cohen’s legal team had sent Solar Therapeutics a cease-and-desist letter upon discovering the billboard, after which it claimed it removed the display.
The company still has yet to pony up remuneration for the violation, Baron Cohen’s legal team said, leading the actor to seek actual and punitive damages in its suit.