'Bruno' Star Sued for Inciting Riot at Gay Rally

By Laura Strachan, Esq. on November 01, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The controversial comedy "Bruno" was released well over a year and a half ago. Yet the lawsuits just keep coming. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Sasha Baron Cohen is now being sued for inciting a riot at a gay rally in 2008. The suit is being brought by Mike Skiff, a gay cameraman that claims he was assaulted by the Bruno star and his crew at a Prop. 8 rally.

The latest Bruno lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. The Hollywood Reporter fills in some details: "Skiff claims he was injured when Bruno filmmakers deliberately incited a riot at the Prop 8 rally by carrying "Yes on Prop. 8" signs and egging on the participants to enhance the dramatic effect of what they may capture for their film."

This is not the first legal rodeo for Sacha Baron Cohen, and it will probably not be the last, although the actor has successfully defended many of the claims others have asserted against him. In order to succeed on the assault, Skiff would need to prove that Cohen and company intended to inflict bodily harm on him and that he had a reasonable apprehension of such harm in the encounter.

Both intent to commit harm and apprehension of the harm are necessary elements for both a civil and criminal assault claim. Here, Skiff, may have some trouble showing the intent aspect, as it relates to him specifically. That said, Sacha Baron Cohen may come up with some wild scenarios for his movie, but his team of lawyers usually try to keep things legal too.

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