On Tuesday, a federal judge
dismissed Roy Moore
against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen
, who mocked the former Alabama
Chief Justice on his Showtime series "Who Is America
?" in 2018.
According to AL.com, U.S. District Judge John Cronan of the Southern District of New York
granted summary judgment in Moore's favor and dismissed Moore's suit with prejudice, preventing it from being refiled.
Summary judgment was also granted to Showtime Networks, Inc. and its parent company, CBS Corporation.
In September 2018, the failed Alabama Senate
candidate filed the lawsuit, accusing the comedian of defaming him by referring to him as a pedophile
and a sex offender.
Moore also claimed in court that Baron Cohen duped him and his wife
to accept a fictitious award for his support of Israel
Moore, who lost a special election
to Democrat Doug Jones in 2017 after being accused of sexually assaulting multiple teenage girls, claimed that Baron Cohen mocked him during the TV segment by using a “device allegedly invented by the Israeli Army to detect pedophiles.”
The segment, which can be seen below, features Baron Cohen dressed as fictional anti-terror expert Gen. Erran Morad demonstrating a device that allegedly identifies perpetrators of sexual misconduct
He claimed that Baron Cohen's actions caused him and his wife "severe emotional distress and pain, as well as financial damage," and that he was "the subject of widespread ridicule and humiliation."
According to AL.com, Judge Cronan ruled in Moore's favor because he signed a waiver prior to appearing on the TV show.
“The Court agrees that Judge Moore’s claims are barred by the unambiguous contractual language, which precludes the very causes of action he now brings,” wrote the judge in his order.
Moore had previously claimed that the waiver was invalid because it was "obtained through fraud
," but Judge Cronan ruled that the signed release shielded Cohen from Moore's claim that he was duped into signing it.
Political satire is also protected under the First Amendment
, according to the judge.
“Given the satirical nature
of that segment and the context in which it was presented, no reasonable viewer would have interpreted Cohen’s conduct during the interview
as asserting factual statements about Judge Moore,” the judge wrote in his order.
Moore's lawyer, Larry Klayman, immediately filed notice that his client intends to appeal the decision to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.