Palestinian grocer settles $115 million lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian grocer who sued actor Sacha Baron Cohen for $115 million over his portrayal as a terrorist in the film "Bruno" has settled his slander lawsuit.

Ayman Abu Aita filed the lawsuit in the United States in late 2009 against the movie’s producers and Cohen. His attorney would not discuss the terms of the settlement, which was settled last week, according to reports.

In the movie, Ayman Abu Aita, a Christian peace activist, escorted Cohen’s alter-ego Bruno, a gay fashion journalist trying to make peace in the Middle East, to a Lebanese refugee camp. Abu Aita was identified in a caption as "Terrorist group leader, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade."

Abu Aita said he received death threats in the wake of the movie. He said he did not realize that Cohen was an actor filming a comedy movie, and said that Cohen misrepresented himself, saying the movie would help the Palestinian cause.

Aita served in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades from 2000 until 2003, then spent two years in an Israeli prison on charges of shooting at Israeli soldiers, according to World Net Daily. He became a representative of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party in the West Bank town of Beit Sahor, near Bethlehem.

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