Freedom of speech prevails.
Sacha Baron Cohen and David Letterman settle lawsuit with man who was labeled a ‘terrorist’ in ‘Bruno’
7/20/2012 A settlement has been reached in the lawsuit which saw a Palestinian grocer suing actor Sacha Baron Cohen and late night television host David Letterman.
Ayman Abu Aita had a small bit in Cohen’s Bruno in 2009, in which he was labeled as someone involved in the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade. Later, Cohen discussed Aita on the Late Show, calling him a “terrorist,” with Letterman playing a clip. Aita said he thought he was being interviewed about peace activism by Cohen’s Bruno character, and the court papers said he received death threats after the film aired.
Last year, Cohen’s lawyers said Aita’s “name or likeness was used in a newsworthy context in a documentary-style movie that conveys matters of legitimate public interest.”
The case had been settled as of Wednesday, and attorney Joseph Peter Drennan said the “case is settled to the mutual satisfaction,” The Hollywood Reporter reports. The lawsuit states that Aita is not a member of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and that he’s a “peace-loving person.” Never signing a release, Aita said he was conned into doing the interview and he subsequently launched the $110 million lawsuit, The NY Post reports.
The settlement, however, is not being released to the public.
Back in 2009:
Ayman Abu Aita sues Sacha Baron Cohen over terrorist portrayal in Bruno.
The terrorist group al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has issued a statement that includes a veiled threat against Sacha Baron Cohen.
The Martyrs Brigades are upset over being featured in Baron Cohens film, Bruno.
We reserve the right to respond in the way we find suitable against this man, the group said in a statement to WorldNet reporter Aaron Klein. The movie was part of a conspiracy against the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is a coalition of secular Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The groups name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Baron Cohen is taking the threat seriously and has stepped up security for himself and his family.
In the film, Bruno meets with Ayman Abu Aita — the leader of the Martyrs Brigades, and tries to get himself kidnapped.
This was a dirty use of our brother, Ayman, and we dont accept that the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is part of the film.
Ayman Abu Aita is also preparing legal action against the Bruno star and Universal Studios. This joke is very dangerous. We are not in the United States, we are not in Europe, we are in the Middle East and the world operates differently here, he said.
Bruno on David Letterman Late Show
The interesting part starts at 7:00
Ayman Abu Aita and his attorneys in 2009