SOMERSET, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is suing a Somerset-based cannabis dispensary in federal court, accusing the company of using his image without permission.
The image, which appeared on a billboard above I-195 according to WPRI, shows Baron Cohen in character from the "Borat" movies below one of his catchphrases from the movies, "It's Nice!"
The Solar Therapeutics billboard advertised "Solar Sustainable Cannabis Co.," over a message that read "Happy 4/20!"
Cohens' attorneys said in the lawsuit that Baron Cohen had never used cannabis in his life, and that he would "never would participate in an advertising campaign for cannabis," for any sum of money.
The attorneys said Baron Cohen doesn't endorse products or companies for fear that the endorsements would weaken his credibility as an actor.
Though the billboard was taken down in April after Baron Cohen's lawyers served the company with a cease-and-desist letter, the actor wants at least $9 million in damages for the use of his image. He is also suing the president of Solar Therapeutics, Edward Dow III, as well.
Solar Therapeutics told WBZ NewsRadio that they are aware of the allegations, and that they "immediately" told the sign company to remove the billboard after receiving the cease-and-desist letter. The company had no further comment because the case is still active before the court.
Written by Chaiel Schaffel