Roy Moore loses first round of lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen for waving 'pedophile detector'
Ex-judge Roy Moore -- screenshot

Former Alabama Chief Justice and Senate candidate Roy Moore suffered a setback on Monday in his lawsuit against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, according to BuzzFeed News.


Moore argued that the case should be heard in the district court in Washington, D.C., while Cohen argued that Moore agreed as part of the terms of appearing on his show to litigate any disputes in the Southern District of New York. A federal judge ruled for Cohen, denying Moore his preferred venue.

Moore is seeking damages for defamation, after Cohen tricked him into appearing on his prank show, "Who Is America?" by posing as a former Israeli defense expert. In this disguise, Cohen waved a "pedophile detector" over Moore, at which point the metal wand began beeping loudly.

In 2017, Moore ran against Democratic former federal prosecutor Doug Jones in the Senate special election for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions' vacant seat. Moore's seeming shoo-in victory in one of the nation's reddest states went up in smoke following multiple allegations that he had molested teenage girls and young women between the 1970s and 1990s. The scandal was just enough to put Jones over the top, handing Democrats a stunning victory.

Moore has since been toying with the idea of running for Senate again in 2020, when Jones will be up for a full term.