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California Woman Falls for Bruno, Files Lawsuit


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Richelle Olson ran a nice little charity bingo game for the elderly in Palmdale, California. When she had the opportunity to bring in a celebrity, a "famous Austrian fashion reporter", to call numbers during a tournament back in 2007, she was thrilled. She has sued Sacha Baron Cohen, NBC Universal, and several others over what happened next.

Olson, the Executive Director of Desert Valley Charities, describes Bruno as an "extreme, outrageous, offensive caricature of a gay man dressed in sexually revealing clothing with an Austrian accent." (Richelle, Bruno may have an Austrian accent, but his sexually revealing clothing, fabulous though it may be, does not.)

Olson goes on to claim that Bruno used "vulgar and offensive language" while performing his bingo-calling duties. She then attempted to wrestle control of the microphone from him, at which time he "offensively touched, pushed, and battered" her, causing her to fall.

Bruno's camera crew is said to have rushed the stage, where they reportedly attacked Olson "for a period of one of five minutes to intentionally create a dramatic emotional response," all while the cameras were rolling. Olson claims that after the crew captured this "humiliation and embarrassment" on film, she exited the stage "sobbing uncontrollably."

Then- no longer even in the presence of Bruno- she fainted and fell again onto a "thinly covered concrete slab," hitting her head.

This prompted a visit to the hospital, where the 37-year-old woman was diagnosed with "two brain bleeds." She has apparently been confined to a wheelchair and the use of a cane ever since. She and her husband are now seeking unspecified damages of over $25,000, including "loss of marital relations" over the incident.

Similar lawsuits were filed after Cohen's 2006 film "Borat", where individuals claimed that they were "duped and humiliated" during filming. These were thrown out after it was proven that the persons involved had signed agreements allowing the use of their interviews and releasing the filmmakers of liability.

Olson, in fact, also signed contracts prior to her filmed interactions with Bruno, but she now claims that they were signed "under duress" and that they contained "several misrepresentations".

We're not sure if the bingo brouhaha will appear in the upcoming Bruno Movie, scheduled to be released worldwide on July 10.

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