Rebel Wilson Says ‘Massive A**hole’ Sacha Baron Cohen Threatened to Sue Over Her Memoir

Updated: A representative for Sacha Baron Cohen refuted Rebel Wilson’s claim that he behaved like a “massive asshole” to her during “The Brothers Grimsby” production in 2016. Cohen’s representative issued a statement to IndieWire, saying, “While we appreciate the importance of speaking out, these demonstrably false claims are directly contradicted by extensive detailed evidence, including contemporaneous documents, film footage, and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during and after the production of ‘The Brothers Grimsby.'”

Published March 25, 2024 at 10 a.m. ET: Rebel Wilson named her “The Brothers Grimsby” (2016) co-star Sacha Baron Cohen as the “massive asshole” who threatened to sue her memoir out of existence.

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Wilson previously shared an Instagram video in which she spoke about her “no assholes policy” on sets, and the alleged incident with a “massive asshole” that prompted it. At the time, she did not name the person, just that he was a “guy” she “worked with.”

“Do you want to know why I have a ‘no assholes’ policy now with people I work with? Well it’s all in the book,” Wilson said. “When I first came to Hollywood, people were like, yeah, ‘I have a no asshole policy, that means like, yeah, I don’t work with assholes.’ I was like, ‘Oh yeah. I mean, that sounds sensible or logical.’ But then it really sunk in what they were meaning by that, older people in the industry. Because I worked with a massive asshole, and, yeah, now I definitely have an assholes policy. Chapter on said asshole – it is chapter 23, that guy was a massive asshole.”

On Sunday, March 24, 2024, Wilson named said the “massive asshole” was “Borat” star Cohen. She says Cohen attempted to “silence” her over said chapter.

I will not be bullied or silenced by high-priced lawyers or PR crisis managers,” Wilson shared on Instagram Stories. “The a**hole that I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is: Sacha Baron Cohen.”

IndieWire reached out to Cohen’s reps with a request for comment on Wilson’s posts, but we did not immediately receive a response.

The “Pitch Perfect” actress is set to release her memoir “Rebel Rising” April 2.

This is not the first time Wilson has spoken about her experience making the film with Cohen. She previously said during a 2014 radio show (via Variety) that Cohen was “harassing” her to “go naked” for the role.

“Every day he’s like, ‘Just go naked, it will be funny. Remember in ‘Borat’ when I did that naked scene? It was hilarious,'” Wilson said. “On the last day, I thought I’d obviously won the argument and he got a body double to do the naked scene. [But then he said] ‘Stick your finger up my butt. Look, I’ll just pull down my pants, you just stick your finger up my butt, it’ll be a really funny bit.'”

Wilson says the alleged “The Brothers Grimsby” incident was not her first run-in with mistreatment by male colleagues. In 2022, Wilson told People magazine that an unnamed male co-star “called me into a room and pulled down his pants.” Then, in front of his friends, the male co-star asked Wilson to “perform a lewd act.” She says her career was almost “destroyed” because of the “awful and disgusting” behavior, which preceded the #MeToo movement.

“It was awful and disgusting. And all the behavior afterwards — this was all before #MeToo — where they kind of tried to destroy me and my career. If it had happened after #MeToo, then I could have just blasted them,” Wilson said. “I called my rep. I got certain things in writing about what happened. Definitely amongst industry circles, I made sure people knew what happened.”

Wilson recalled feeling pressured to stay and complete that movie, which she did not name.

“I thought even complaining to my agency was a big step. And to complain to the studio. I found out I was like the fourth person to complain about the guy,” Wilson said. “Such gross behavior, but a lot of women have had it way worse. […] I should have left. It wasn’t worth it. But at the same time, I was like, ‘Oh well, do the right thing, be a professional and finish the movie.’ Now I would never do that.”

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