Some people get a chuckle when, say, Austrian fashion correspondent Brüno floats down from the rafters and greets someone with his undercarriage. But, according to TMZ, a California woman is suing Brüno creator [movieperson id="294580"]Sacha Baron Cohen[/movieperson] over a 2007 incident at a Palmdale, California, bingo hall that she claims left her in a wheelchair.
Richelle Olson, the executive director of Desert Valley Charities, is suing Cohen, NBC Universal and several others over the incident, which occurred when Brüno was scheduled to call numbers at a bingo game for the elderly that she organized. But when the flamboyant Brüno — whom she describes in the suit as an “extreme, outrageous, offensive caricature of a gay man dressed in sexually revealing clothing with an Austrian accent” — showed up, Olson alleges that the character used “vulgar and offensive language.”
When she tried to take the microphone away from Brüno, she claims a “physical struggle ensued” and Brüno “offensively touched, pushed and battered” her, causing her to fall to the ground. Then, when three cameramen and others rushed the stage, Olson claims that they “attacked [her] for a period of one to five minutes to intentionally create a dramatic emotional response … while [they] recorded her humiliation and embarrassment.”
Following the alleged assault, the suit claims Olson went into an adjoining room, where she was “sobbing uncontrollably” before becoming unconscious and “falling forward onto the thinly covered concrete slab, passing out and causing her to hit her head.” She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with “two brain bleeds” according to the suit and has been confined to a wheelchair and walker ever since. Olson and her husband are suing for unspecified damages, including loss of marital relations.
This is the latest in a long line of lawsuits launched at Cohen over the outrageous antics of his various characters, including Borat. A spokesperson for Cohen could not be reached for comment at press time.
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