Sacha Baron Cohen sues over cannabis billboard featuring Borat character

The British star’s fictional Kazakh journalist featured on an advert promoting Solar Sustainable Cannabis alongside his “It’s Nice!” catchphrase.

The lawsuit says Baron Cohen has never used cannabis and would not advertise the drug for any amount of money.

He is seeking damages of at least $9m (£6.5m). The company is yet to respond.

The legal action, filed on Monday in Massachusetts, accuses Solar Therapeutics of copyright infringement and false advertising.

Baron Cohen’s lawyer alleges the company “took a gamble” in using the actor and satirist’s likeness, thinking he would never see it.

The actor’s representative said Baron Cohen does not believe cannabis – which remains illegal in a number of US states – is a “healthy choice”.

He said the star had never advertised any product in the UK or US over fears it would “weaken his credibility as an actor and as a serious social activist”.

It says the actor’s persona is “of very significant commercial value” and that he had previously turned down $4m (£2.9m) to appear in a car advert.

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