Sacha Baron Cohen and David Letterman have settled a lawsuit filed against them by a Palestinian grocer. The grocer filed a suit against the comics for slander, after he was portrayed as a terrorist in the movie Bruno. A report from the Press Association reveals that Ayman Abu Aita's case has been "settled to the mutual satisfaction" of everyone involved. Court records confirmed that the case was designated settled and closed on Wednesday (July 18, 2012).
In the 2009 film, Sacha Baron Cohen plays the role of an Austrian fashion journalist, on a mission to instigate peace in the middle east. In the movie, his character interviews the grocer and a caption labels Aita as a member of the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. In fact, his court papers claim that he is a "peace-loving person" who was living on the West Bank and has never associated with any terrorist activity, nor been involved with the Martyrs Brigade. He reportedly took part in he interview on the understanding that he was talking to a journalist about peace activism. Cohen later discussed the interview on David Letterman's chat show, referring to it as an encounter with a "terrorist."
Aita claims that the misinformation given in the movie has caused him to receive death threats and left him fearing for his family's safety, as well as having harmed his business. In the suit, he sought millions of dollars worth of damages. The final settlement, however, has not been confirmed.