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Sacha Baron Cohen

Sued Over Bingo Melee

6/3/2009 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Sacha Baron CohenIt's all fun and games until someone gets confined to a wheelchair -- which is exactly what one woman is claiming after she was allegedly attacked and left "crippled" by Sacha Baron Cohen (as Bruno) at a Bingo hall in 2007.

Richelle Olson has sued Cohen, NBC Universal and others claiming they told her Bruno was a celeb and would appear and call numbers at the charity bingo game she ran for the elderly in Palmdale, CA. Olson was none too happy when she saw Bruno, whom she describes as an "extreme, outrageous, offensive caricature of a gay man dressed in sexually revealing clothing with an Austrian accent..."

Olson alleges Bruno used "vulgar and offensive language" and when she tried taking the mic from him, a "physical struggle ensued" and Cohen "offensively touched, pushed and battered" her, causing her to fall to the ground.

She then claims three cameramen and others rushed the stage ... "where defendants attacked [her] for a period of one to five minutes to intentionally create a dramatic emotional response ... while [they] recorded her humiliation and embarrassment."

After the alleged assault was over, the suit says Olson went into another room where she was "sobbing uncontrollably" ... then was rendered unconscious ... "falling forward onto the thinly covered concrete slab, passing out and causing her to hit her head."

The suit says Olson was rushed to the hospital with a "diagnosis of two brain bleeds" -- and that she has been confined to a wheelchair and walker ever since.

Olson -- the Executive Director of Desert Valley Charities -- and her husband are suing for unspecified damages, including loss of marital relations.

Cohen's rep had no comment.


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Actually, unless they've changed the name again, the organization is "United Deserf Charities." Their website hasn't been updated in four years.

1930 days ago


His comedy goes way TOO far--sue his bleached ass!

1930 days ago

Miguel Tuason    

This guy exploits stereotypes and tries to pass it of as entertainment.
He ranks right up there with Andy Sandberg of SNL.

It's frat-house,
it's sophmoric,
it's NOT OKAY... and
it's just plain NOT FUNNY.

Even the boys of MTV's "JACKA--" were more original in their pranks.

Go away Sasha! (And Andy!)

1930 days ago


Remind anybody of the late great Andy Kaufman? Irritating as hell and ALL staged material.

1930 days ago


If this woman was so offended, why didn't she just leave?

1930 days ago


I smell BS. If it was as bad as they say it was then there would have been police involvement when she was rushed to the hospital. He's a celeb, not a good one, but still one and if this happened as she said then the tabloids would have jumped all over this.
$10 says her husband got drunk and beat her so now she's looking to place the blame elsewhere.
Also the beating would have been on film if 3 CAMERAMEN were there. Again if it was a crowded bingo hall then there would be multiple people who would have called the cops.

1930 days ago


I know this lady. she is really sweet and is the owner of the place so she can't just leave. it is very serious and they have been working on the lawsuit for awhile. i thought borat was hilarious, but if this is what it takes for him to be funny, i am not interested. he should be human enough to know when a joke has gone too far.

1930 days ago


For those asking why she didn't sue immediately, she may not have known her condition was permanant. She could have been going through healing, physical therapy and even surgeries, and only now knows she will never get better.

1930 days ago


i just cant wait to see this film. IS ANYONE ELSE WITH ME HERE? $#%&!! CMON TMZerz! SBC is so hilarious! The big question after this success is, what will he do next?

1930 days ago

nikki sullivan    

I go play bingo at the bingo hall in Palmdale, Ca and I have for myself Mrs. Olson using a walker to get around the bingo hall.
She is a real nice Christian lady and so is her husband Lance. I wish them all the best for a postive outcome in this matter. God bless you Richelle and Lance. (See you both at bingo this weekend).

1930 days ago


Remember when Borat came out and was "great success", thus leading all the film's "victims" to attempt litigation? I have a feeling this woman is trying to do the same.

1930 days ago

Deryk Devanz    

They hired him knowing full well, what kind of guy he was, and that is why they wanted him to host, because he is outrageous. Now he's being sued for being outrageous!?
I side with Sacha.

1930 days ago


good publicity stunt, if not - one over exaggerated story -

1930 days ago


Don't grab for the mic, unplug it.

1930 days ago


She probably hired him not knowing who he is. If he this story is true,
he deserves to be sued. I mean seriously, she was suppose to know?
People who have signed the release form were told who he was? That
thing on the smoking gun, where Bruno did that wrestling match. No
one knew who he was and the audience members signed a release form
thinking they were going to see some fighting match until Bruno did
his gay stuff.

1930 days ago
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