Controversial comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed that he stumbled upon a possible pedophile ring in Las Vegas while filming his television series “Who is America?”
In an interview with Deadline published on Dec. 19, Baron Cohen stated that a deleted scene included evidence that a hotel concierge had contact with someone who could supply underage children to guests.
The actor was playing a fake character named Gio who was interviewing the concierge around the same time that a large number of accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein had been made public.
“We wanted to investigate how does someone like Harvey Weinstein get away with doing what … get away with criminality, essentially. And the network that surrounds him,” said Baron Cohen to Deadline.
During the interview, Gio told the concierge that he had molested an 8-year-old boy, and Baron Cohen expected the concierge to immediately leave the room. But to his surprise, he did not. The comedian then asked the concierge to help him “get rid of the problem,” and the man began to give Gio some advice.
“We even at one point talk about murdering the boy, and the concierge is just saying, ‘well, listen, I’m really sorry. In this country, we can’t just drown the boy. This is America we don’t do that.’ And then, in the end, he puts me in touch with a lawyer who can silence the boy,” said Baron Cohen.
Then Gio asked, “Can you get me a date for tonight?”
Cohen then said, “[The hotel concierge] says, ‘what do you mean, a date?’ I go, you know, like a young man. He says, ‘well, what kind of age?’ I say, lower than Bar Mitzvah but older than eight. And he says, ‘yeah, I can put you in touch with somebody who can get you some boys like that.'”
Baron Cohen said it was “fascinating” from a journalistic standpoint, but the scene was “so extreme and so dark that it was too unsettling for the audience.”
“We immediately turned over the footage to the FBI because we thought, perhaps there’s a pedophile ring in Las Vegas that’s operating for these very wealthy men,” he said. “And this concierge had said that he’d worked for politicians and various billionaires.”
However, Baron Cohen said, “In the end, the FBI decided not to pursue it.”
‘Who is America?’ Faces Legal Troubles
Cohen was sued earlier this year by Alabama Judge Roy Moore related to another interview on his “Who is America?” television show.
Moore was told he would be receiving an award for supporting Israel, instead, he was subjected to a fictional device that Cohen said was invented by the Israeli Army to detect pedophiles. Moore walked out of the interview and his lawyers later sent a letter to Showtime demanding that the footage not be released.
The judge filed a complaint against Baron Cohen, Showtime, and CBS on Sept. 5 alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud, according to court documents. The judge is seeking $95 million in damages.