Some 13 months after the theatrical release of Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen's mockumentary about an intellectually curious Kazakh journalist's travels across the U.S. and A to engage in cultural exchanges with as many litigious Americans as possible, one might think that any of comedian's on-camera victims who hadn't already filed lawsuits had grudgingly accepted their cinematic notoriety. Amazingly, legal papers are still being filed, with the latest coming from the driving instructor tasked with teaching the foreigner how to operate a non-mule-powered vehicle:
Michael Psenicska was duped into participating in the film after it was described to him as a "documentary about the integration of foreign people into the American way of life," he said in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.
The suit named British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays the title role, One America Productions and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., a unit of News Corp. It also named Todd Lewis, a representative of One America who is listed in other lawsuits as Todd Lewis Schulman.
Psenicska said he was paid $500 in cash to give Borat a driving lesson. He described the experience as "surreal," saying Cohen drove erratically down residential streets, drank alcohol and yelled to a female pedestrian he would pay her $10 for "sexy time."
The lawsuit seeks $400,000 in actual damages and additional punitive damages for misleading Psenicska and for emotional harm he continues to suffer. Psenicska said if he had known the true nature of the film, he never would have participated.
Psenicska's action comes about a month after one filed by the Southern etiquette coach who tried to teach the faux-Kazakh that returning from the bathroom with one's bagged feces is considered poor manners in most places in America. We suspect that both suits will eventually be dismissed like the one brought by those South Carolina fraternity brothers, with annoyed judges in Manhattan and Alabama informing both plaintiffs that they should probably consider themselves lucky their participation in the film didn't involve being strangled by the fetid anus of Borat's hirsute producer.