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Very Nice, "Borat" Lawsuit Tossed

A judge has tossed out a defamation lawsuit brought by a businessman shown in the movie "Borat" as he is chased down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

Federal Judge Loretta Preska says the term "newsworthy" - defined in its most liberal and far reaching terms - can be applied to the 2006 hit movie.

The lawsuit had sought unspecified damages for Jeffrey Lemerond, a Dartmouth College graduate and financial analyst.

Photos: Spring 2008 Movies
Messages for comment left with lawyers on both sides were not immediately returned Wednesday.

In the movie, Lemerond is shown running and yelling "Go away!" as Cohen's character, a phony journalist from Kazakhstan, chases him in an attempt to hug strangers.

The judge concedes that the movie employs a brand of humor that appeals to the most childish and vulgar in its viewers. But she says it also attempts an ironic commentary.

By Larry Neumeister

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