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Sacha Baron Cohen rejects Rebel Wilson’s ‘asshole’ characterisation and ‘demonstrably false claims’

Wilson said that she wrote a whole chapter about working with Cohen on The Brothers Grimsby in her upcoming memoir, Rebel Rising

By Jon Blistein

Sacha Baron Cohen (Picture: Getty)

Sacha Baron Cohen has rebuffed Rebel Wilson’s claims in her upcoming memoir that he behaved like a “massive asshole” while filming the 2016 comedy, The Brothers Grimsby

In a statement (via Deadline), a spokesperson for Cohen said, “While we appreciate the importance of speaking out, these demonstrably false claims are directly contradicted by extensive detailed evidence, including contemporaneous documents, film footage, and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during and after the production of The Brothers Grimsby.” 

The statement comes after Wilson confirmed that Cohen was the previously anonymous “asshole” she spent a whole chapter writing about in Rebel Rising (out next week, April 2). Wilson first teased this chapter on social media earlier this month without naming Cohen, saying only that she “worked with a massive asshole” and now has a “no assholes policy” at work. “Chapter on said asshole,” she added, “it is chapter 23, that guy was a massive asshole.”

About a week later, on her Instagram story, Wilson wrote: “The ‘asshole’ that I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is: Sacha Baron Cohen.” She added: “I will not be bullied or silenced by high priced lawyers or PR crisis managers.”

In the book, Wilson reportedly claims that Cohen pressured her to do scenes that made her uncomfortable. Cohen, for his part, is expected to maintain that any suggestions he made followed contractual and on-set guidelines and that these alleged asks were recorded by the film’s crew and based on a script that all the actors had approved.

While the exact nature of Wilson’s claims in her book remains unknown, she did discuss her experience working with Cohen on The Brothers Grimsby in a 2014 radio interview. “Every single day he’s like, ‘Rebel, can you just go naked in this scene?’ And I’m like, ‘No!’” Wilson said.

At the time, Wilson and Cohen shared an agent, and she remembered telling him, “Sacha, I’m going to call our agent Sharon and tell her how much you are harassing me.” 

While Wilson said she was able to secure a body double for the naked scene, that wasn’t the end of it: “Then in the last scene … [Cohen] was like, ‘Rebel can you just stick your finger up my butt?’ And I went, ‘What do you mean Sacha? That’s not in the script. And he’s like, ‘Look, I’ll just pull down my pants, you just stick your finger up my butt, it’ll be a really funny bit.’”

Wilson said she refused, but at the time seemed to joke, “You don’t wanna be a diva so I … said I’ll slap you once on the butt and that’s it.” 

From Rolling Stone