BOSTON (AP) – Actor Sacha Baron Cohen has sued a Massachusetts cannabis dispensary for allegedly using a picture of his character Borat on a billboard without his permission, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court filed in Boston.
The billboard for Somerset-based Solar Therapeutics Inc. showed Baron Cohen, who presented himself as Borat with two thumbs up and the words “It’s nice!” – one of Borat’s catchphrases.
“By using the billboards, the defendants falsely conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen endorsed their products and is related to their business,” the lawsuit filed on Monday said. “On the contrary, Mr. Baron Cohen has never used cannabis in his life. He would never take part in an advertising campaign for cannabis, at no cost. “
The billboard along a Massachusetts freeway was taken down in April, three days after Baron Cohen’s attorneys filed a cease-and-desist order to the pharmacy.
“Mr. Baron Cohen is very protective of his image and personality as well as that of his characters. Mr. Baron Cohen is very careful about the way he uses his personality and characters to interact with his fans and the public,” said it in the complaint.
Baron Cohen and his California-based company Please You Can Touch LLC are seeking $ 9 million in damages.
No Solar Therapeutics Inc. attorney was listed on the court records. Email and phone requests for comments were left with the company on Tuesday.