Rebel Wilson's bombshell claims against Sacha Baron Cohen catalyst for Isla Fisher announcing split from star

Dan Woodland and Eve Buckland
Daily Mail
Rebel Wilson, Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher.
Rebel Wilson, Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher. Credit: The West Australian

Rebel Wilson’s bombshell claims against Sacha Baron Cohen were “the catalyst” for his break-up with wife of 14-years Isla Fisher.

The British actor, 52 and the Australian actress, 48, announced overnight that they had quietly separated in 2023 by sharing a bizarre snap posing in tennis outfits.

It came just days after Rebel Wilson made shock claims about her experience with the “a**hole” comedian in her new memoir, Rebel Rising, claiming Sacha told her to strip off when filming scenes for the 2016 comedy The Brothers Grimsby.

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But now friends of the star couple, who have three children together, have revealed the allegations were the final straw in the decision to make their split public.

A source told The Sun that Isla was “starting to get embarrassed” about the claims in the book, which acted as “a catalyst” in her decision to announce their split and allowed her to protect her “own career and reputation”.

Another source close to the couple added that the “decision wasn’t taken lightly” and there is “still a lot of love” between Isla and Sacha, who “remain incredibly close”.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher.
Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher. Credit: supplied/supplied

Sacha has strongly denied ever mistreating Rebel or pressuring her to be naked in the film.

A source told The Sun: “Rebel’s book was a catalyst in Isla deciding to announce this to the world.

“She’s got her own career and reputation to worry about.

“Those close to her said it was starting to get embarrassing with all of the allegations that were spilling out of Rebel’s book.

“So she felt as though it was the right thing to do to inform everyone of their decision.

“Sacha, on the other hand did not want that. He has been making as though it’s business as usual before they made this announcement.”

Another source close to the couple added: “They have been having difficulties for some time and have battled to make things work.

“They didn’t want to throw their love away for the sake of their family. Privately, though, friends were made aware.

“They went to great lengths to keep things ‘business as usual’ on social media so as to control the narrative in a way they both felt comfortable with.

“This decision wasn’t taken lightly and they remain incredibly close. There’s still a lot of love there.”

gen Isla Fisher Sacha Baron Cohen announce divorce
gen Isla Fisher Sacha Baron Cohen announce divorce Credit: instagram/supplied

The couple first met back in 2001 and tied the knot in 2010. They are parents to daughters Olive, 17 and Elula, 13, and son Montgomery, nine.

The statement announcing their split read: “After a long tennis match lasting over 20 years, we are finally putting our racquets down.

“In 2023 we jointly filed to end our marriage. We have always prioritized our privacy and have been quietly working through this change

“We forever share in our devotion and love for our children We sincerely appreciate your respecting our family’s wish for privacy.”

However, insiders close to the couple tonight claimed that Cohen and Fisher had been struggling with their “shaky” marriage for years.

Insiders said Cohen had reportedly struggled after making the “sacrifice” to relocate their family to Australia in 2020.

“Their marriage has been shaky for years,” an insider told DailyMail.com exclusively.

“‘The breakdown started when they relocated to Australia so that she could be closer to her family. But it left Sacha far removed from everyone he knows.

“He made this sacrifice for her and would make many sacrifices for her throughout their marriage. He is deeply affected by their split because she was his life for many years.”

Rebel played Borat star Sacha’s on-screen girlfriend in the 2016 comedy The Brothers Grimsby and made a series of allegations about her uncomfortable experience during shooting.

She alleged that on the set of the Louis Leterrier-directed film, Sacha would ask her to strip off for scenes despite her ‘no nudity’ rule, in a string of claims which Sacha has strenuously denied and says are contradicted by evidence.

In a memoir passage obtained by People Magazine, she shockingly alleged that Sacha requested she “stick her finger up his a**” because he thought it would make a funny scene in the film and claimed “it felt like (he) had sexually harassed me”.

She alleged that she felt “completely disrespected, which led to me treating myself with even more disrespect by eating in an extremely unhealthy way”.

Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen as a married couple in Grimsby
Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen as a married couple in Grimsby Credit: Grimsby

Rebel claimed that during filming, Sacha would repeatedly “mention that he wanted me to go naked in a future scene”, which she alleged was in “no way essential” to the film’s plot.

In her book she wrote: “It felt like every time I’d speak to SBC, he’d mention that he wanted me to go naked in a future scene. I was like, ‘Ha, I don’t do nudity, Sacha’.”

Rebel claimed she was allegedly summoned by a product assistant for an additional scene while shooting in Cape Town, South Africa.

She said: “OK, well, we’re gonna film this extra scene, SBC says. Then he pulls his pants down, SBC says very matter-of-factly, ‘OK, now I want you to stick your finger up my a**.’ And I’m like, ‘What? … No’,’’

Rebel claimed she was shocked and wanted to get out of it, adding: “I was now scared. I wanted to get out of there, so I finally compromised: I slapped him on the ass and improvised a few lines as the character.”

The Bridesmaids actress also claimed she only agreed to a sex scene with Sacha after several rewrites and recalled allegedly telling the producers that she wouldn’t be promoting the film ahead of its release.

However, newly emerged footage from the sex scene in the 2016 film seems to show that the action was part of the script and the actress was on board with the scene.

Several never-before-seen clips from the movie that failed to make the final cut were obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com and depict Rebel and Sarah’s characters using a cellphone to film themselves getting intimate.

In the clips, Rebel can be heard discussing the scene while on camera but out of character, telling Sacha: “I’ll do a slap (of your butt) and I’ll do a — going down the crack.”

He replies: “It’s almost as if you’re going to ram your fingers inside.”

It prompted Rebel to answer: “Yeah.”

According to those close to Sacha, director Louis Leterrier had to discuss any nudity or sex scenes with Rebel before they were shot. They say she agreed to the scene.

They also say that the mobile phone was used because the movie called for Rebel and Sacha’s characters Dawn and Nobby to use an iPhone to film themselves having sex.

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