One lawsuit down and another to go for Sacha Baron Cohen. Just two days ago the Borat star was relieved of any legal responsibility for the two frat boys that appear in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Today, news has broken that Cohen will be sued by an individual who does not even appear in the film. Apparently, the character Borat was filming in a restaurant in South Carolina and in this particular instance; Borat was pretending to be the restaurant's toilet attendant. Hidden cameras in the bathroom captured Sacha Baron Cohen staring at the plaintiff while he used the urinal. The man is now suing Sacha Baron Cohen for damages -- particularly, invasion of privacy -- and to stop any footage from being placed on the DVD.

According to Internet Movie Database the footage of this incident has appeared on Comedy Central and has also been released on the Internet. I have yet to find the said footage but would be sure to find it amusing. Variety has reported that the plaintiff is not only suing Sacha Baron Cohen for damages but also the South Carolina restaurant owner for allowing them to film in the bathroom. All individuals -- including the restaurant owner -- claim that they were mislead by Cohen in order to sign release forms. Ristorante Divino -- where this particular footage was taken -- stated that they would not have allowed Cohen to film if they had known he placed undetectable cameras in the bathroom.

All of these lawsuits make me curious about what Borat's production said to get these distraught individuals to sign the release forms. Of course there had to be a level of fibbing in order to protect the character and the film -- but when one signs and thus releases their image to appear in any production, does it really become fair game? I say, yes. I would be incredibly hesitant upon signing a release form for any film project -- especially in a reality or documentary style basis -- without knowing exactly what the film was about purely for editing reasons. You can behave like a model citizen but the fact is -- you will become whoever the filmmakers want you to be purely in editing. So if you want your 15 minutes of fame you better be prepared that those 15 seemingly harmless minutes won't come back on a forty-foot tall screen to haunt you.
categories Movies, Cinematical