Sacha Baron Cohen, who created and played the role of Borat, is seeking $9 million from Solar Therapeutics Inc, a marijuana dispensary located in Massachusetts, to use the role on a billboard.
According to documents filed by the US District Court in Boston, actor Sacha Baron Cohen has sued a marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts, saying that he used images of his character Borat on billboards without permission.
A billboard for Solar Therapeutics Inc. in Somerset shows Baron Cohen posing as Porat, with two thumbs up and saying “Very good!”-one of Porat’s mantras.
“By using the billboard, the defendant incorrectly communicated to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen recognized their products and was connected to their business,” the complaint filed on Monday read. “On the contrary, Mr. Baron Cohen has never used marijuana in his life. He will never participate in marijuana advertising campaigns for any amount of money.”
The lawsuit alleges that a billboard along an interstate highway in Massachusetts was removed in April, three days after Baron Cohen’s lawyer issued a stop order to the pharmacy.
“Mr. Baron Cohen highly protects his image and role, as well as his role. Mr. Baron Cohen uses his personality and role very carefully to interact with his fans and the public,” the complaint stated.
Baron Cohen and his California-based company Please You Can Touch LLC are seeking $9 million in compensation.
A lawyer for Solar Therapeutics said he was aware of the lawsuit.
“After receiving the stop and termination letter from Mr. Cohen’s legal counsel, Solar immediately requested the sign company to remove the billboard in question,” Nicholas Hemond said in an email statement. “Because there is an active case in the court, we have no further comment at this time.”