For those of you who prefer to live in the recent past, peering wistfully over your shoulders at the halcyon days when a neon-bethonged Kazakh reporter delighted audiences with his naïve take on sister-pimping and fist-shaped dildo usage, we bring to you news of yet more Borat-related litigiousness. No, not even the movie's Fleeing, Freaked-Out New York City Guy was able to find the humor in his brief but memorable cameo, as his somewhat late-to-the-party lawsuit outlines. Reports The Smoking Gun:
Jeffrey Lemerond, 31, claims in a U.S. District Court complaint that the film depicts him "fleeing in apparent terror" from Borat, the phony Kazakh reporter portrayed by Cohen...Lemerond notes that he was screaming "go away" at Cohen, who was seeking a hug from the rattled stranger.
He also claims to have suffered "public ridicule, degradation, and humiliation" as a result of his brief appearance in the film. Footage of Cohen chasing Lemerond was first seen in the movie's trailer, though Lemerond's face had been pixelated from view. However, the film company did not "scramble Plaintiff's face in the film itself."
Lemerond's lawsuit names only Fox as a defendant—he had filed another in January naming Sacha Baron Cohen, director Larry Charles, and producer Jay Roach, but quickly withdrew it. Based on the outcomes of the many other Borat cases, however, we'd say the odds are stacked heavily against the panicky claimant. That doesn't mean he'll walk away completely empty handed, however, as he can still proudly tell his grandkids how he once so vividly put a human, terror-stricken face on New Yorkers' general attitudes towards being accosted by swarthy, vaguely Middle-Eastern-looking lunatics during their morning commutes in the early 21st Century.