Lawsuit by Holocaust survivor over “Borat 2” film portrayal withdrawn

Judith Evans in the film "Borat 2."
Judith Evans in the film "Borat 2."

Credit: Screen shot from "Borat 2"

Credit: Screen shot from "Borat 2"

She appears in the movie in a more sympathetic light than what plaintiffs t had anticipated.

A lawsuit filed in Fulton County by the estate of a late Holocaust survivor against the creators of the latest “Borat” film was withdrawn by the plaintiff.

“The lawsuit was dismissed, unconditionally. The lawsuit is over,” said Russell Smith, who works for SmithDehn LLP and was defense counsel for Amazon and film creator Sacha Baron Cohen, in a statement. “Sacha Baron Cohen was deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with Judith Dim Evans, whose compassion and courage as a Holocaust survivor has touched the hearts of millions of people who have seen the film. Judith’s life is a powerful rebuke to those who deny the Holocaust, and with this film and his activism, Sacha Baron Cohen will continue his advocacy to combat Holocaust denial around the world.”

Filed in the Superior Court of Fulton last week, the lawsuit stated Baron Cohen, as his character Borat, interviewed Judith Dim Evans in Atlanta earlier this year about the Holocaust “under false pretenses with the intent of appropriating her likeness. Ms. Evans did not consent to the commercial use of her likeness in ‘Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm,’ or in a comedy ‘mockumentary.’”

The plaintiff requested Evans' scenes be removed from the film and sought damages of less than $75,000 for false light invasion of privacy, appropriation of Evans' likeness for commercial gain, and fraud.

The lawsuit was filed before the plaintiff’s representatives had seen the scenes that were used in the film, which was released on Amazon Prime on Friday and has been seen by “tens of millions” of people, according to Amazon Prime.

Evans, who lived in Aiken, South Carolina, passed away over the summer, so her daughter filed the lawsuit as the executor to Evans' estate.

Evans taped her interview with Baron Cohen in Marietta at Temple Kol Emeth in late January. The scene happens about 50 minutes into the film.

Fictionally, Borat is depressed that his 15-year-old daughter from his fake version of Kazakhstan discovered women are not chattel and leaves him in a huff. She also informs him that Facebook “taught” her the Holocaust did not exist. Borat, afraid his home country might execute him for failing to fulfill his duties of giving her away to an American politician, wants to take his own life.

So he goes to a synagogue dressed in a ridiculous outfit and meets Evans. She allays his “fears” of Jews.

“We are normal, exactly like you,” Evans says to the Baron Cohen character. “Let’s make love, not war.” She also convinced Baron Cohen’s fictional character that the Holocaust did exist and hugged him.

Judith Evans with Borat's character at a synagogue in Marietta, Georgia shot in the "Borat 2" film in January, 2020.
Judith Evans with Borat's character at a synagogue in Marietta, Georgia shot in the "Borat 2" film in January, 2020.

Credit: Screen shot from "Borat 2"

Credit: Screen shot from "Borat 2"

Baron Cohen, according to Deadline.com, said her inclusion was not intended to make fun of Jewish culture or her status as a Holocaust survivor but to actually honor her.

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