British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is being sued for $95 million (£73 million) by US politician Roy Moore after he gave the former senator a ‘paedophile test’.
Moore claims he was tricked into appearing on Cohen’s latest show Who is America?, where he was interviewed by the Borat star in the guise of new character ‘General Erran Morad’, an ‘anti-terror expert’.
In one scene – perhaps one of the most uncomfortable moments of the series – Cohen waves a ‘paeodophile detector’ over his own chest, and it doesn’t go off. He then waves it over Moore whereupon an alarm goes off.
“In Israel they’ve developed a machine that is used in schools and playgrounds to detect anyone coming in,” says Cohen, as ‘General Morad’.
“If they detect the paedophile, the wand alerts the law enforcement and schools within a hundred-mile radius.”
“It must be malfunctioning,” Morad says. He tries it on himself again, and then on another man in the room, and the machine stays silent for both. He brings it near Moore again and – of course – the alarm goes off. He then tries it on another man in the room, and once again it stays silent.
Cohen then repeatedly claims the ‘paedophile detector’ must be faulty, while continuing to wave it around Moore and hear it beep, eventually causing him to leave the interview in a huff.
Before the end of the scene, Moore does seem to suspect that it may all be a set-up.
“I’ve been married for 33 [years] and never had an accusation of such things,” he says, and then walks out of the room.
During the special election to become Alabama’s senator, Moore narrowly lost to Democrat candidate Doug Jones after being accused by nine women of sexual misconduct, one of whom said she was 14 during an alleged encounter with Moore when he was 32. He denied all accusations and continues to do so.
Moore isn’t the only politician to feature in uncomfortable interviews on the controversial Channel 4 show.
Jason Spencer, a Georgia state lawmaker, was pranked into believing Cohen was an Israeli anti-terrorism expert.
Cohen, in character, then managed to convince the legislator to engage in a series of exercises, including dropping his trousers and repeatedly using a racial slur. Spencer went on to resign from the Georgia House shortly after the episode aired.