(AP) — According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, actor Sacha Baron Cohen
has filed a lawsuit
against a Massachusetts cannabis
dispensary for allegedly using an image of his character Borat
on a billboard
without his permission.
The billboard for Somerset-based Solar Therapeutics Inc. depicted Baron Cohen as Borat, with two thumbs up and the words "It's nice!" — one of Borat's catchphrases.
“By using the billboard, the defendants falsely conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen has endorsed their products and is affiliated with their business
,” the complaint filed Monday states
. “To the contrary, Mr. Baron Cohen has never used cannabis in his life and would never participate in an advertising campaign for cannabis, for any amount of money
According to the lawsuit, the billboard along a Massachusetts interstate highway was removed in April
, three days after Baron Cohen's attorneys served the dispensary with a cease-and-desist order.
“Mr. Baron Cohen is highly protective of his image and persona, as well as those of his characters; Mr. Baron Cohen is very careful with the manner in which he uses his persona and characters to interact with his fans
and the general public,” according to the complaint.
Please You Can Touch LLC, which Baron Cohen owns, is suing for $9 million in damages.
Solar Therapeutics' attorney confirmed knowledge of the lawsuit.
“Upon receipt of the cease-and-desist letter from Mr. Cohen’s legal counsel, Solar immediately requested that the sign
company remove the billboard in question,” Nicholas Hemond said in an emailed statement
. “We have no further comment at this time
, as there is an active case before the court.”