Apparently, there is a line you can cross with Brüno.
Just in case their public denial of Richelle Olson's wheelchair-bound bingo claims against Sacha Baron Cohen & Co. wasn't enough of a deterrent, lawyers for the studio launched a second offensive against the plaintiff, demanding she formally withdraw her lawsuit or face the wrath of the Hollywood heavyweights. (Something we're guessing not even Eminem would voluntarily endure.)
"If you do not file a voluntary dismissal of the complaint with prejudice, and if you do not do so by this Monday, June 8, our clients will avail themselves of every legal remedy against you and your clients," reads a letter fired off by Cohen's legal team and obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.
While it doesn't appear as if Olson has moved to dismiss her case, the missive presents a markedly different version of events than her suit, claiming if anyone was victimized by the encounter, it was Cohen.
"Mr. Baron Cohen never touched Ms. Olson, much less assaulted her," the letter from attorneys Kyle Madison and Walter Batt states.
"To the contrary, Ms. Olson assaulted Mr. Baron Cohen, grabbing his arms from behind and attempting to pull him out of a chair."
The lawyers also dispute Olson's claims that the film crew had a hand in her alleged battery or that Brüno's allegedly vulgar language upset the delicate sensibilities of the assembled gaming crowd.
"Putting aside the impossibility of the camera crew physically attacking Ms. Olson while at the same time filming her, the actual footage reveals that the number of crew members and other persons who attacked your client is zero.
"The footage shows that most of the bingo players were relatively young (like the plaintiffs), and that Mr. Cohen offered only lighthearted comments that were met with general laughter from the audience, and even applause."
And just in case Olson still thinks there is a chance she may win in court, the studio's attorneys insist they have the law on their side, especially considering she signed a consent form before the debacle was shot.
"If you believe the agreements your clients signed will not be enforced, you are mistaken. The agreements contain virtually the same language as the agreements in the various Borat litigations, in which courts from California to Alabama to New York have enforced those same contractual provisions in the face of claims not as weak as the bogus allegations of your clients."
Cohen's lawyers say they will seek fines, damages and attorneys' fees against Olson should they continue with their "frivolous lawsuit and related defamation."
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