NYC Judge Questions Viability Of Villagers' 'Borat' Lawsuit
NEW YORK, December 5, 2006 -- Lawyers who filed a $30 million lawsuit against the makers of the hit movie "Borat" said Monday they would refile the suit after a judge told them they must make specific allegations if they want their case to have a chance at success.
The lawsuit alleges that residents of a remote Romanian village were duped into participating in what they thought was a documentary about poverty rather than the comedy, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."
The complaint in Manhattan was filed on behalf of two residents of Glod, a village whose Gypsies were used as stand-ins for Kazakhs in the movie. The lawsuit alleges that 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and others involved in the film exploited the plaintiffs and other Glod residents.
U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska reminded the lawyers that the lawsuit would have to have specific enough facts alleging the villagers were misled before she could order defendants to turn over documents that might help the villagers build their case.
Slade R. Metcalf, a lawyer for the movie company, argued the lawsuit did not make a specific enough claim on behalf of the villagers to be considered by the court.
Glod is located 85 miles northwest of Bucharest. The movie, starring Sasha Baron Cohen, has been a surprise hit at the box office, earning more than $100 million in the United States.
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