'Brüno' Photog Drops Case Over Gay Rally Attack

Sacha Baron Cohen is in the clear over an alleged attack on a gay cameraman at a gay rights rally in 2008 -- TMZ has learned the photog has dropped the case citing his own "emotional well being."

The cameraman -- Mike Skiff -- filed a lawsuit against Cohen and the people behind the movie "Bruno" last month ... claiming he was attacked by crew members while covering a Prop 8 rally in West Hollywood.

Skiff insisted that he was targeted because he had recognized Sacha in his Bruno costume ... just as Sacha and company began "inciting" the crowd.

But last week, Skiff suddenly decided to call off his legal war -- filing a request for dismissal with the L.A. County Superior Court. His lawyer tells us the matter "had become too difficult [for Skiff] to deal with."

The lawyer, Clifford Scherer, adds, "Mike is satisfied with the statements he made, and satisfied that people were made aware of the situation."

UPDATE: Skiff has now issued a statement on the situation.

'Bruno' Accused of Attack at Gay Rights Demonstration

Sacha Baron Cohen is accused of participating in an alleged attack on a gay cameraman at a gay marriage demonstration in Los Angeles back in 2008 ... this according to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ.

A photog named Mike Skiff -- a gay cameraman who covers "events involving the gay community" -- claims he was at a Prop 8 rally in 2008 when a crew from Cohen's movie "Bruno" arrived on the scene with an intention to "promote violent discord between the assembled 'yes' and 'no' factions."

According to the lawsuit, filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, members of the "Bruno" crew "carried 'Yes on Proposition 8' signs contrived for the sole purpose of inciting and sparking unrest to enhance the dramatic effect of what they may capture for their film."

In the suit, Skiff claims he began to shoot the "Bruno" team when they approached him -- "violently confronting [Skiff] with the threat of being clubbed with wooden signs." Skiff says the alleged attack was designed to prevent him from filming the event.

Skiff claims he was shoved, pulled and wrestled by "Bruno" -- causing serious injury. Skiff has posted video on YouTube of the altercation. Cohen appears around the 5:25 mark.

Skiff is suing for unspecified damages.

'Bruno' Smacks 'Himbos' in Velcro Lawsuit

A guy who claimed Sacha Baron Cohen ripped off his idea for the Velcro scene in "Bruno" couldn't get the lawsuit to stick in court ... TMZ has learned.

According to documents just filed in federal court in California, a judge ruled that the "Bruno" scene didn't have enough in common with a scene from an unmade movie called "Himbos" ... in which some dude was also supposed to don a Velcro suit and wreak havoc at a fashion show.

As a result, the case was just dismissed -- making it the 487,007,784th legal victory for Cohen and his lawsuit-inducing mega-flicks.

'Bruno' Bingo Lawsuit Accuser Is a Loser

Sacha Baron Cohen scored a crushing victory over the woman who accused him of sabotaging her bingo game back in 2007 and causing her serious emotional damage in the process -- all for a scene for the movie "Bruno."

The judge in the case not only ruled against the bingo lady -- Richelle Olson -- he also ordered the accuser to fork over $17k to pay for all of Team Bruno's attorney's fees.

As TMZ first reported, Olson wanted more than $25,000 in damages -- claiming Cohen, in full Bruno character, wreaked havoc at her Palmdale, CA bingo game back in 2007 and ordered his camera crew to attack when she tried to take his mic away.

Olson later changed her story and claimed she was never beaten, just merely emotionally damaged from Cohen's use of "vulgar" language ... a story that didn't quite add up according to legal papers, filed in L.A. County Superior Court.

As for any footage that was shot during the encounter, the Bingo scene was ultimately cut from the movie.

Letterman - Palestinian Conflict in 'Bruno' Lawsuit

David Letterman claims he's found a loophole in a lawsuit filed by a man portrayed as a terrorist in the movie "Bruno" -- and it all boils down to our diplomatic relations with the Middle East.

In new legal docs filed in D.C., Letterman -- along with Sacha Baron Cohen and other defendants -- claim that the $110 million defamation lawsuit filed by a self-described Palestinian man named Ayman Abu Aita should be dismissed ... partially because "Palestine is not recognized as a foreign nation by the United States."

Dave was dragged into the lawsuit because he ran the "terrorist" clip from the "Bruno" on his show last year when Cohen was a guest. Abu Aita had claimed that he is simply a shopkeeper ... and not a member of the militant Al-Asqa Martyrs' Brigade.

According to the docs filed by Letterman's lawyers, the lawsuit cannot proceed in the United States because Abu Aita and Cohen are both foreigners.

The judge has yet to rule on the motion to dismiss.

More "Bruno"

Sacha Baron Cohen Sued Over 'Terrorist' Scene

Sacha Baron Cohen, along with the producers of "Bruno" and David Letterman's company -- are being sued by a man who claims his reputation has been smeared all over the world because people now think he's a terrorist.

Ayman Abu Aita is a grocer on the West Bank -- he says in Palestine. He was featured in the movie "Bruno," in which he is described as "terrorist group leader al-aqsa martyrs brigade."

According to the suit, filed in federal court in Washington D.C. and obtained by TMZ, Abu Aita claims Cohen appeared on David Letterman's show promoting the movie and during the interview Cohen and Letterman gave the "unmistakable impression" that Abu Aita was a terrorist.

Abu Aita also says he was defamed by Cohen on an NPR interview on the show, "Fresh Air."

Abu Aita is suing for $110 million.

Sacha Baron Cohen BINGO! Re-Sued

The woman who sued Sacha Baron Cohen over a "Bruno" attack now says the actor never struck her, but beat her down emotionally to the point she's now confined to a wheelchair.

Richelle Olson has amended her lawsuit against Cohen, NBC Universal and others, claiming Cohen and his crew were "replete with deceit, fraud and misrepresentation" when they contacted the charity she ran, offering to send a "celebrity" to her charity bingo tournament for the elderly.

Olson claims the character Bruno showed up and began calling bingo numbers "using vulgar and offensive language over the loud speaker system." She says she asked him to stop but he didn't, and the film crew captured her "humiliating emotional reaction."

The suit claims Olson left the stage, went into a side room, began sobbing uncontrollably and lost consciousness, falling headfirst into a concrete slab. As a result, she's confined to a wheelchair and a walker.

She's suing for unspecified damages. And, we're told, the scene was cut from the movie. Welcome to Hollywood.

Bruno's Naked Friends -- The Pecking Order

Sacha Baron Cohen's tour of the bizarre rolled into Berlin yesterday -- where his new fashion designs battled some pesky XXX stereotypes ...

BTW -- Despite the appearance of 4 men, there are actually 5 phalli in this photo.

Bruno Based on a Real Gay Austrian?!

The Austrian media is going crazy over the new movie "Bruno" -- claiming Sacha Baron Cohen based his fake flamboyant Austrian TV host ... on a real life flamboyant Austrian TV host.

The dude caught in the middle is Alfons Haider -- he's proud to be gay, he's into fashion, and (just like Bruno) he's also been known to compare himself to Zac Efron.

Want more evidence? -- Alfons is the highest-paid presenter on Austrian state broadcaster ORF. In the film, Bruno works for a channel called OJRF. Coincidence?

The controversy has been raging in Austria for a while, but Haider just told The Telegraph newspaper, "I never understood the comparison to myself at all. The only comparisons I can think of is that I'm Austrian, I'm gay, and I work for television, but the rest is completely fiction."

Anyone really buyin' that?

Bruno Lederhosen of the Pack

Proving once and for all that golden, sparkly lederhosen are a man's best friend, Bruno struck this half-assed pose while sashaying through France today.

That Sacha Baron Cohen is one smooth, cheeky Brit.

NBC Universal The Tape Will Set Bruno Free

The suits over at NBC Universal are calling BS on the lady who claims she suffered "life-altering" injuries during a Bruno stunt at a bingo hall in 2007 -- and the company says there's video evidence to prove it.

A rep for NBC Universal just released this statement:

"Filmed footage of the full encounter, which took place more than two years ago, clearly shows that Ms. Olson was never touched or in any way assaulted by Sacha Baron Cohen or any member of the production and suffered no injury.

If the Olsons elect to proceed with their frivolous action, we expect each of the defendants to be fully vindicated."

Sacha's Alleged Victim -- Injuries 'Life-Altering'

The attorney for the woman who claims Sacha Baron Cohen assaulted her during the filming of "Bruno" says Cohen has radically changed her life -- for the worse.

Kyle Madison of the Madison Law Group calls the injuries Richelle Olson suffered "life-altering." Olson says in her lawsuit Cohen showed up at her charity bingo match for the elderly back in 2007 in his Bruno character, and began calling numbers in a vulgar, offensive way. The suit claims ... when Olson tried grabbing the mic away ... Cohen physically assaulted her. Olson says she suffered brain bleeds and sometimes requires assistance walking.

Madison tells TMZ, "The actions of Mr. Cohen and those acting in concert with him have resulted in life-altering injuries to my client. My focus is her well-being and to secure a fair, just and equitable remedy for her claims."

Madison says Olson's suit is different from the people who sued Cohen over the "Borat" movie. Those people suffered humiliation -- Olson's injuries are physical and severe. "This claim is distinguishable from Mr. Cohen's previous lawsuits as a defendant," Madison says.

To read Madison's full statement to TMZ, click here.

See Also

Eminem Cracks Admits Involvement in Taintgate

In case you still believe the Eminem/Sacha Baron Cohen incident from the MTV Movie Awards was real... Em just proved you're a gullible Gary by admitting he was knee deep in Sacha's butt stunt.

Em became the 496th person to confirm the whole thing was planned, telling RapRadar.com, "Sacha called me when we were in Europe and he had an idea to do something outrageous at the Movie Awards. I'm a big fan of his work so I agreed to get involved with the gag."

It looks as if, unlike some people, Em has emerged from this Bruno encounter unscathed.

Adam Levine Bruno's Rear Ain't My Type

Maroon 5 stud Adam Levine says he wouldn't mind getting a helping of ass to the face, depending on whose derriere it was -- and judging by the hot chick who rode on his hog, we doubt he wants Bruno's.

Sacha Baron Cohen Sued Over Bingo Melee

It'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.

See Also

MTV Awards Tainted Eminem/Bruno Was Staged

The head writer of the MTV Movie Awards has finally cleared up something everyone already knew anyway -- the cheeky exchange between Bruno's bare backside and Eminem's face was completely staged.

The L.A. Times spotted the following note on Scott Aukerman's website:

"Yes, the Bruno/Eminem incident was staged. That's all anyone wants to talk about, so let's get it out of the way. They rehearsed it at dress and yes, it went as far as it did on the live show then."

We can all now move on with our lives.

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