Former Alabama judge Roy Moore hinted Wednesday that he, too, was duped by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, becoming the latest conservative to complain in advance of a new series Cohen has been filming.
Moore issued a statement Thursday saying he accepted an expenses-paid trip to Washington in February to receive an award for his support of Israel.
“I did not know Sacha Cohen or that a Showtime TV series was being planned to embarrass, humiliate, and mock not only Israel, but also religious conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Joe Walsh, and Dick Cheney,” he wrote. Moore said he did not receive any other financial compensation for his travel other than expenses.
Moore has mostly stayed out of the limelight since his upset loss in the race for an open Senate seat in Alabama in December after allegations that he initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl decades ago.
Moore’s disclosure follows the release this week of a promotional trailer for the show that features former vice president Dick Cheney enthusiastically signing a “waterboard kit.” Conservative commentator Sarah Palin came out shortly after to say that she, too, had been fooled, having flown across the country to meet with a person she thought was a disabled veteran in a wheelchair. It was Cohen, whose particular brand of comedy has long involved role-playing characters and catching people unawares.
Moore, who is suing at least four of the women who accused him of sexual impropriety in the run-up to Alabama’s special Senate election in 2017, blamed unnamed “shadowy media groups” for the scheme and issued a vague threat of more litigation.
“If Showtime airs a defamatory attack on my character, I may very well be involved in another,” he wrote. “As for Mr. Cohen, whose art is trickery, deception, and dishonesty, Alabama does not respect cowards who exhibit such traits!”
Leigh Corfman, who accused Moore of touching her sexually when she was 14, has also filed a defamation suit against Moore.
In March, Moore issued a grievance-laden plea asking supporters for financial help to defend himself from Corfman’s lawsuit.
The content of the show and Moore’s potential role on it were not immediately clear. Showtime declined to comment on his comments or the series, which will premiere this weekend. Rumors have flown that it features appearances by people across the political spectrum, though only conservatives have expressed outrage in recent days. The disclosures have increased media attention on the show.