Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lisa McLoughlin

Rebel Wilson's allegations against Sacha Baron Cohen's explained

Rebel Wilson shocked many this week when she confirmed a chapter in her upcoming memoir, Rebel Rising, would focus on her experience working with Sacha Baron Cohen on The Brothers Grimsby.

On Monday, the Pitch Perfect alum, 44, shared an Instagram story in which she claimed the Borat star, 52, has “hired a crisis PR manager and lawyers” in a bid to stop her autobiography being released. Claims the Ali G actor’s spokesperson has denied.

However, this isn't the first instance where the Australian actress has mentioned her on-set encounter with Baron Cohen. Let's delve into everything that has been discussed:

What did Rebel say?

Earlier this month, the Australian actress first raised eyebrows when she reflected on her early experiences in Hollywood and recounted encounters with difficult personalities.

“When I first came to Hollywood, people were like, ‘Yeah I have a no-a**hole policy, means I don’t work with a**holes,’” she remarked.

“It really sunk in what they were meaning by that, older people in the industry, because I worked with a massive a**hole.

“Now I definitely have a no-a**holes policy. The chapter on said a**hole is chapter 23.”

While Wilson’s Hollywood blind item initially didn't cause much stir, she certainly shook things up when she named the actor in question, Baron Cohen, her own book release, which will be released on April 4.

In an Instagram Story on Monday, she wrote: "I will not be bullied or silenced by high priced lawyers or PR crisis managers” before claiming, "The a**hole that I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is: Sacha Baron Cohen."

According to Variety, a previous story, which expired, also stated: "Now the a**hole is trying to threaten me. He's hired a crisis PR manager and lawyers.

“He's trying to stop the press from learning about my new book. But the book WILL come out, and you will all know the truth.”

What prompted her claims?

In 2014, Wilson discussed collaborating with Cohen, two years before the release of The Brothers Grimsby, during an interview on the Australian radio program Kyle and Jackie O.

She characterised his comedic style as "outrageous" and recalled declining an alleged request that was "not in the script.”

Wilson shared: “Every day, he’s like, ‘Just go naked, it will be funny. Remember in Borat when I did that naked scene? It was hilarious’.

“On the last day, I thought I’d obviously won the argument, and he got a body double to do the naked scene.”

When it came to shooting the final scene, however, she claimed Baron Cohen took things further: “He was like, ‘Rebel, can you just stick your finger up my butt?’ And I went, ‘What do you mean, Sacha? That’s not in the script’.

“And he’s like, ‘Look, I’ll just pull down my pants, you just stick your finger up my butt, it’ll be a really funny bit.’”

In 2017, she recounted a similar anecdote in a series of tweets, which have since been removed. She also mentioned that her male co-star's friends were laughing and attempting to record the incident on their phones.

Wilson has always confronted controversy head-on and has a strong stance against misinformation, having successfully sued an Australian media company, Bauer Media, for defamation in 2017, winning £2.6 million after they had published reports accusing her of lying about her age.

What has Sacha said in response?

Hours after her Instagram story was posted, the British actor released a statement to the press via his representative denying the accusations.

The statement read: "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."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.