"Arab terrorist" Sues Sacha Baron Cohen (Bruno)

by Ha'aretz

An Arab grocer from Bethlehem filed suit against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen yesterday. Ayman Abu Aita is seeking $115 million in libel damages over Baron Cohen's film "Bruno," equal to half of the movie's gross box office earnings.

According to the London Daily Mail, Abu Aita, who is also a peace activist, said that Baron Cohen's depiction of him as a Lebanese terrorist in his recently released and controversial movie has ruined his life.

He has also filed suit against NBC, Universal Studios and American talk show host David Letterman for being part of the film which tricked him into meeting Baron Cohen under the false pretext that Cohen was a German producing a film about the Arab cause, the Daily Mail reported.

Abu Aita also told the Daily Mail that since the film was released to cinemas this summer, he has received several death threats despite the fact that he is a firm opponent of terrorism.

During the scene, Abu Aita was depicted as a leader of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, according to the caption which refered to him as "Terrorist group leader, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade."

The scene itself was actually filmed in a hotel near Bethlehem.

In July Letterman set out a goal to discover the identity of the man depicted as the terrorist, and traced Abu Aita down through a CIA contact.

Cohen is famous for his outrageous characters such as Borat, a Kazakh journalist who travels across the United States, and Bruno, a gay Austrian fashion journalist who wants to regain fame by trying to solve the Middle East crisis.

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