The first verdict in the various legal tussles over “Borat” is in, and the winner is … Borat.
On Monday a judge denied the request of two college fraternity brothers to have a scene in “Borat,” in which they are shown drunk and making racist remarks, cut from the film. The men claim the footage has damaged their reputations.
Last month they sued 20th Century Fox and the film’s producers, maintaining that they were intoxicated when they agreed to participate in the film and were falsely told that it would never be shown in the U.S.
A judge earlier denied their request to have the scene cut from the theatrical version of “Borat,” but last week the plaintiffs were given another opportunity to request that the scene be cut from the “Borat” DVD.
In ruling against the duo Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph Biderman said that they failed to show a reasonable probability of success on the merits of their case or that money damages alone would be insufficient to resolve their claims.
Lawyers for the men said the unbecoming scene in “Borat” had already cost one of the men a job at a corporation and the other a prestigious internship.
Fox mockumentary “Borat,” written by and starring Sacha Baron Cohen, has grossed $120 million at the U.S. box office.
Verdicts are still pending in other “Borat”-related lawsuits. Two residents of a Romanian village filed a $30 million suit alleging that they agreed to participate in “Borat” because they were told it was a documentary about poverty in Romania. And Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred is seeking an investigation on behalf of client Cindy Streit, owner of an etiquette training service in Alabama who claims she was similarly misled into taking part in the film.