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Sacha Baron-Cohen hits back at Rebel Wilson after she claimed he was a ‘massive a...hole’ in memoir spat

Rebecca Davison and Terry Zeller
Daily Mail
Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen played a  married couple in the Brothers Grimsby.
Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen played a married couple in the Brothers Grimsby. Credit: Grimsby

Sacha Baron Cohen has refuted claims from Rebel Wilson after she labelled him an ‘a...hole’ in her explosive new memoir.

“While we appreciate the importance of speaking out, these demonstrably false claims are directly contradicted by extensive detailed evidence,” Cohen’s spokesperson said in a statement on Monday night (AEDT).

“Including contemporaneous documents, film footage, and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during and after the production of The Brothers Grimsby.”

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Earlier that day, Rebel, 44, claimed the British actor and comedian was the celebrity responsible for making threats over her no-holds-barred memoir Rebel Rising.

The Australian actor originally claimed she was facing potential legal action after dedicating an entire chapter to a difficult working experience with an unnamed former co-star — branded an “a...hole” by Wilson.

She has since confirmed the actor in question is Cohen, 52 — best known for his comedy creations Ali G and Borat — with whom she starred in 2016 action-comedy Grimsby.

Taking to Instagram on Sunday, she wrote: “I will not be silenced by high-priced lawyers or PR crisis managers. The a****** I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is: Sacha Baron Cohen.”

Rebel Wilson is releasing a tell-all memoir.
Rebel Wilson is releasing a tell-all memoir. Credit: Supplied/TheWest

The post came just two days after the Pitch Perfect star alleged that a celebrity she once worked with was threatening her over the release of the memoir.

“I wrote about an a...hole in my book,” she told Instagram followers. “Now, said a....... is trying to threaten me. He’s hired a crisis PR manager and lawyers.

“He is trying to stop press coming out about my book. But the book WILL come out and you will all know the truth.”

In an Instagram video shared on March 15, Wilson revealed that she has dedicated a chapter in her book to the ‘massive a...hole’ she worked with in Hollywood.

The Pitch Perfect star also claimed she would eventually name the male colleague, whose alleged behaviour prompted her to adopt a “no a...holes policy” on set.

She wrote: “When I first came to Hollywood, people were like, ‘Yeah, I have a no-a...holes policy that means, like, I don’t work with a...holes.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I mean, that sounds sensible and logical.’

“But then it really sunk in what they were meaning by that, older people in the industry. Because I worked with a massive a...hole, and, yeah, now I definitely have a no-a**holes policy.

“Chapter one said a...hole — it is chapter 23, that guy was a massive a...hole.”

She added: “Do you want to know who is the biggest a...hole I’ve ever worked with in Hollywood? Chapter 23 lists it all out! Do you wanna know why I have a ‘no a...holes’ policy now with people I work with?

“I wrote about an a...hole in my book. Now, said a....... is trying to threaten me. He’s hired a crisis PR manager and lawyers

“Well it’s all in the book: REBEL RISING available for pre-order now (drops April 2nd, link in bio)...” oh and YES I name the a....hole!”

Wilson and Cohen starred together in The Brothers Grimsby alongside Mark Strong, Gabourey Sidibe and Isla Fisher — Cohen’s wife of 14 years.

Cohen portrays reformed football hooligan Norman ‘Nobby’ Grimsby who is forced to go on the run with his brother — a suave secret agent played by Kingsman star Strong.

Wilson plays his on-screen love interest Dawn, with whom he shares 11 children, while Cohen’s real-life love, and fellow Australian actor, Fisher plays Jodie Figgs. The comedy was lambasted by critics, and it currently holds a 34 per cent rotten rating from the most prestigious reviewers surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes.

It was also a disappointment at the box office, as it only made around $28 million against a budget of $35 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Speaking in 2016, Cohen opened up about casting Wilson as his love interest in the comedy, instead of wife and co-star Fisher.

While appearing on Network 10’s The Project, he joked that his decision to cast the funny woman was simply because “there’s problems at home”.

“The studio are putting a lot of pressure on Rebel to have the child to coincide with the release of the movie,” he joked.

“I think it is unfair because she is only five months in.”

Cohen went on to add that he and Wilson were currently working on a solution, saying: ”To end this dilemma she has to decide whether to have this [baby] premmie [premature] and make the studio happy or leave it in there until full term.

Speaking to news.com.au in 2015, Wilson previously described filming sex scenes with Cohen as “disgusting”.

“I had a sex scene with Sacha Baron Cohen and it was just the most disgusting thing ever,” she said while attending LA Fashion Week.

She also claimed Cohen urged her to strip off for a sex scene and they had to reach a compromise

In an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, the Pitch Perfect star revealed her character Dawn would don a burqa in one scene.

However the Sydney local insisted it was all in the name of comedy and she didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.

Sacha Baron Cohen as "Borat" during the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
Sacha Baron Cohen as "Borat" during the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Credit: George Pimentel/WireImage

In an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, the Pitch Perfect star revealed her character Dawn would don a burqa in one scene.

However the Sydney local insisted it’s all in the name of comedy and she doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers.

“Obviously, I don’t mean any offence to Muslims. I asked my Muslim friend ‘Do you think this is alright, to tell the joke we’re telling?’ And she said yeah,” Rebel told the publication.

“But she’s pretty liberal and lives in New York so who knows? But it is a joke and no offence meant,” she added.

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