It's up to NY in Borat lawsuits, Alabama SC rules

Legal News Line Jan. 22, 2008, 9:50am


MONTGOMERY -- The Alabama Supreme Court has shortened by one the line to sue comedian Sacha Baron-Cohen after making an embarrassing appearance in his 2006 movie "Borat." Only four lawsuits remain against the British actor and satirist by people who unwittingly appeared in "Borat," a comic take on American behavior by a spoof journalist from Kazakstan. Alabama's top bench yesterday ruled that Kathie Martin, who appears in "Borat" as an etiquette teacher, could not sue in Alabama. Martin appeared in a scene in which she was duped into teaching etiquette to the boorish Borat at a dinner party. Still awaiting their day in court with Borat are a South Carolina fraternity, a New York City businessman, a Maryland driving instructor and a group of Romanian villagers. In overruling the lower court, the SC stated that Martin could not sue Cohen or the film's producers because she had earlier signed an agreement to bring any disputes over her appearance in "Borat" to a New York court. The case was remanded to a Jefferson County lower court. The movie, fully titled "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakstan," has already grossed over $200 million, reports noted.

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