Sacha Baron Cohen has settled a slander lawsuit with a Palestinian grocer who alleged that he was portrayed as a terrorist in the 2009 mockumentary Bruno.
Ayman Abu Aita was was interviewed by Cohen as his dippy Austrian fashion alter-ego Bruno, believing that it was part of a film about the Palestine peace process. The joke in Bruno was that two spoke about Aita’s Christian peace activism onscreen while a caption ran below stating Aita is part of the terrorist group the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade. Cohen also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman discussing a "terrorist" he had met, meaning Aita, which prompted Aita to include Letterman in his lawsuit as well. The poor guy says that after Bruno came out, he’s gotten death threats for supposedly being a terrorist and his business has suffered. He sued Cohen for $110 million, but this week has now settled for an undisclosed amount.
Cohen, for his part, had argued that he was well within the bounds of free speech. And as we all know, free speech also allows you to act like a dick.