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Lawyers Strike Back in Bruno Lawsuit


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After a California woman's lawsuit claiming that her 2007 bingo brawl with Bruno has left her confined to a wheelchair with "life-altering injuries" and deserving of over $25,000 in damages, Universal Pictures has come out swinging in defense.

According to the statement, "The allegations made by Richelle and Lance Olson in their complaint are completely baseless. 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."

Bringing even more firepower is the law firm representing the film and Cohen. A letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. lays it out in no uncertain terms:

"Interestingly, although you have generated over 15,000 media articles regarding the complaint, you have not served it upon any of the defendants. Nor have you ever provided us with even so much as a letter or a phone call regarding your clients' alleged claims. This, despite Ms. Olson's claim in particular that she has been crippled for two years as a result of the alleged incident. Our clients learned of the alleged claims only from press reports this week."

"Your clients' claims are demonstrably and ludicrously false. This is proven beyond any doubt by the actual unedited and unaltered film footage of the entire alleged encounter between your clients and Mr. Baron Cohen (and his production crew). If a photograph is worth a thousand words, this film footage is a reference library. It conclusively demonstrates that the allegations in the complaint are pure fiction."

Elsewhere in the four-page document, Bruno's legal eagles state that, in fact, it was Ms. Olson who roughed up Bruno by "grabbing his arms from behind and attempting to pull him out of a chair."

Bruno's legal team goes on to cite the release forms that Ms. Olson signed which plainly prohibit her from taking any action against the film's producers, and waive all legal claims entirely. They gave Ms. Olson's lawyers until June 8 to rescind their suit. No word on whether that has happened.

The Bruno Movie opens wide on July 10.

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