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October 15, 2020 11:38 am

Estate of Late Holocaust Survivor Sues ‘Borat’ Creators Over Appearance in Sequel

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Borat at Comic-Con International: San Diego. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The estate of a recently-deceased Holocaust survivor has filed a lawsuit against the creator and distributor of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new “Borat” movie in an attempt to keep her appearance out of the film, which will be released next week.

Judith Dim Evans, who lived in Aiken, South Carolina, passed away over the summer. The lawsuit, filed this week in the Superior Court of Fulton in Atlanta, Georgia, said Evans was approached to talk about the Holocaust for what she believed to be a legitimate documentary. The interview took place at a synagogue in Atlanta on January 29.

The interview was conducted for Baron Cohen’s new movie that is fully titled “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” which is set to become available on Amazon Prime on October 23. It’s a follow-up to the 2006 mockumentary “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

Baron Cohen, a British Jew, was in character as Borat Sagdiyev when he interviewed Evans “under false pretenses with the intent of appropriating her likeness,” the lawsuit stated, as reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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The lawsuit said, “Ms. Evans did not consent to the commercial use of her likeness in ‘Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm,’ or in a comedy ‘mockumentary.'”

“Upon learning after giving the interview that the movie was actually a comedy intended to mock the Holocaust and Jewish culture, Ms. Evans was horrified and upset,” the lawsuit added. “Had Ms. Evans been informed about the true nature of the film and purpose for the interview, she would not have agreed to participate in the interview.”

Evans’ daughter Michelle Dim St. Pierre, who is the executor of her mother’s estate, filed the lawsuit. She is requesting that scenes including Evans be removed from the film, and is seeking damages of less than $75,000 for false light invasion of privacy, appropriation of Evans’ likeness for commercial gain and fraud, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Amazon Prime and Oak Springs Productions are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which also stated that the film’s producers tried to pay Evans for participating in the interview but she declined.

While speaking to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Adam Hoipkemier, the attorney representing the Evans’ estate, declined to reveal if Evans signed any paperwork or waiver giving the film’s producers free rein to use her recording in any way they wished.

Editor’s note: After press time, claims made in the lawsuit were disputed by sources close to the filmmakers.

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