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Palestinian 'Terrorist' Files $110 Million Libel Suit Over 'Bruno'

The Palestinian man who was portrayed as a terrorist in 'Bruno' is suing Sacha Baron Cohen, David Letterman and others for libel and slander.

Ayman Abu Aita, who is shown in the film as a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, is seeking more than $110 million in damages.

Back in July, Abu Aita claimed he was duped into doing the interview and was shocked when he learned what the movie was really about.

"Sacha Baron Cohen said this was a film going to help the Palestinian cause. When I heard what this film was about I really didn't believe it. This man, I think he is not a man."

"He is not saying the truth about me. He lied. He said he is a German actor making documentaries watched by young people. He wanted to make a story to mobilize the young people to help us. I didn't have any impression he would use my interview in a bad way."

As for David Letterman, Abu Aita is suing him because of an interview before the film's release where the Late Show host and Baron Cohen discussed the encounter with the 'terrorist'.

"You know, when we were making this film, we wanted it to be better than 'Borat' and we thought 'what could people see that they'd never seen before on film?' And we thought one thing would be a comedian interviewing a terrorist," said Baron Cohen as he explained how the meeting was set up. "So we called about a contact we had at the CIA and we said 'Can you help us? We're looking to find a terrorist.'"

Hatem Abu Ahmad, Abu Aita's Arab-Israeli lawyer, says Baron Cohen made millions "on the back of my client."

Abu Aita says he is a businessman and a "peace-loving person who abhors violence" and claims the film's portrayal has hit his "good reputation for honesty and a peaceable nature."

December 10, 2009 |

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