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Sacha Baron Cohen Drops $9 Million Lawsuit Over Bogus Weed Ad

The last year was Chronic News covered Sacha Baron Cohen’s massive $9 million lawsuit filed against a dispensary that ran a billboard ad with his image without permission, but the actor and plaintiff have reached an agreement to drop the lawsuit.

CBS News reports that a document filed in Boston federal court on Tuesday said “the two sides have agreed to dismiss the case.”

According to court records filed on July 12, 2021 Sacha Baron Cohen sued Somerset, Massachusetts-based Solar Therapeutics for running a billboard with his picture without his permission.

Solar Therapeutics erected a billboard on an interstate highway in Massachusetts that features a picture of Baron Cohen as Borat, with his thumbs up and the words “It’s Nice!,” one of Borat’s catchphrases. It also read “Happy 4/20!” The billboard appeared in Somerset near exit 10B.

“By use of the billboard, the defendants falsely have conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen has endorsed their products and is affiliated with their business,” the 2021 complaint reads. “To the contrary, Mr. Baron Cohen never has used cannabis in his life. He never would participate in an advertising campaign for cannabis, for any amount of money.”

It continues, “In addition, Mr. Baron Cohen was born into an Orthodox Jewish family; he is an Observant Jew; and he is proud of his cultural heritage. He does not wish to be involved in the heated controversy among the Orthodox Jewish community about whether cannabis can be used under Jewish traditions, customs, and rules—a controversy in which many rabbinical leaders have stated that cannabis use is a violation of Jewish law.”

Baron Cohen and the California-based Please You Can Touch LLC initially sought damages of $9 million for misused images.

Although Baron Cohen, Please You Can Touch LLC and Solar Therapeutics came to an agreement, the details of whether or not there was a settlement are not public. This may be a symbol warning to not misuse Baron Cohen’s intellectual property without fighting.

Celebrities are still being misused to sell marijuana. Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, and Montel Williams—who has a legit cannabis company—have all fallen victim to CBD and cannabis scams that claim to be endorsed by celebrities.

Yes, We’ve Interviewed Sacha Baron Cohen

If you’re scratching your head, we understand. Baron Cohen has joked many times about cannabis, usually as the character Ali G. But the lawsuit clearly states that he hasn’t ever actually smoked cannabis in his life.

Baron Cohen was interviewed by Dan Skye Chronic News for the October 2003 cover of the magazine—but interviewed as Ali G, his fictional stoner character, not himself. Baron Cohen is openly joking about cannabis but doesn’t consume it due to his faith. This new lawsuit will help explain.

“Me can role up two spliffs using one hand,” Baron Cohen as Ali G told Chronic News2003. “Dat iz why I iz known as bein double-joined a’ight. From de moment me woz born de chronic has been at de centre of everythin me do—when me mum squeezed me out of her punani me woz cryin so much dat she let me have a drag on her joint. Den three years later me first word woz ‘reefer’.”

“[…] U iz de only mag dat pay in weed,” he said. Ali G told then Chronic News that his favorite weed is “grown in a small part of Jamaica called Somalia.”

Baron Cohen’s Ali G may be a big pothead, but Baron Cohen plays many characters. And just because he jokes about it, doesn’t mean that he’ll allow a business to steal his image for profits.