Sacha Baron Cohen did not steal 'Bruno' joke

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2010
Sacha Baron Cohen with his wife Isla Fisher

Sacha Baron Cohen with his wife Isla Fisher

A judge has dismissed a copyright case against British Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

In March, a writer called John Musero sued Mr Baron Cohen over a scene in the 2009 fashion spoof Bruno, featuring a Velcro-suited man.

Mr Musero claimed the idea for the outfit appeared in a script entitled “Himbos” that he had unsuccessfully pitched to the Bruno producers before Mr Baron Cohen’s film was released.

But a California federal judge decided that there was no evidence of plagiarism.

The judge said: "In Bruno, the lead character gets stuck to a curtain, crashes into a rack of clothes, gets stuck to the clothes, and tumbles out on to a runway.

"The 'Himbos' protagonist gets crumbled rabbit food stuck to the back of his suit that attracts a rabbit, followed by a cat [then] gets stuck to a canopy in the course of fighting off the cats, gets stuck to a waiter, and then falls into a pool."

Mr Baron Cohen’s work, which generally involves filming unsuspecting subjects in embarrassing situations, means the 38-year-old from London is no stranger to legal action.

He is currently being sued for an alleged £70 million by a Palestinian activist who appeared in Bruno under the caption of “Terrorist group leader, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade".

Another woman shown in the film at a bingo hall is suing him for "emotional damage".

And as the TV presenter Borat, Mr Baron Cohen managed to enrage the Kazakhstani government so much that the film was on the agenda when the country’s president met George W Bush on an official visit.

Last updated: 2:59pm, January 28 2011