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Cohen Sued Over 'Bruno'

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Dec 09, 2009 | 3:54am EST

Sacha Baron Cohen is facing a $112 million lawsuit over his controversial movie Bruno.

Palestinian grocer Ayman Abu Aita has filed suit against the British funnyman after a caption in the film described him as "Terrorist group leader, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade."

Abu Aita was named as a mock-terrorist when Cohen turned a hotel near Bethlehem into a refugee camp in Lebanon -- but many didn't get the joke.

Cohen subsequently appeared on TV to promote the movie and told talk-show host David Letterman that producers had found this "real terrorist" through a contact in CIA.

But Abu Aita is adamant that he is a firm opponent of terrorism and claims he was tricked into meeting Cohen, who he believed to be a German filmmaker working on a documentary about Palestine.

Abu Aita has now filed suit against Cohen, NBC Universal Studios and Letterman, alleging his depiction in the film has ruined his life. He claims he began receiving death threats after the movie's release earlier this year.

It's not the first time Bruno has landed Cohen in legal trouble -- Richelle Olson filed suit against Cohen and NBC Universal studio chiefs over the summer, claiming she was injured in a stunt at a bingo hall in Palmdale, California, which was filmed for the movie in 2007. Olson has now dropped her claims of assault and battery, opting to sue Cohen for "emotional damage" instead.

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