Marketing executive Heddi Cundle’s self-penned Tribe.net profile describes her as a “[n]atural leader and decision-maker. Ingenious thinker and astute long-range planner. Logical and analytical. Determined, emphatic and exceptional organizer. Strong motivation and work ethics. Decisive and great aptitude for creative problem solving. Shares birthday with Vincent Van Gogh. ” Add to that: determined litigator — and not a bitch, a minger or Sacha Baron Cohen’s baby-mama.
Cundle, 35, filed the latest lawsuit against Cohen, the comedian behind the mock Kazakh reporter Borat and the British gangsta rapper Ali G. At issue is a 2004 episode of HBO’s “Da Ali G Show.”
Segueing from a talk on the Constitution, Cohen — in character as Ali G — asked novelist and essayist Gore Vidal: “Ain’t it better sometimes to get rid of the whole thing rather than amend it cos, like, me used to go out with this bitch called Heddi Cundle and she used to always trying amend herself…. She was still a minger and so, y’know, me had enough and once me got her pregnant, me said, laters, that is it.”
For those on this side of the pond, minger is from the Scottish Gaelic for someone reaaaaally ugly.
After the interview first aired, and Cundle, a British-born MBA now living in California, complained to HBO, the cable network agreed to edit out her name from subsequent broadcasts — but later, the raw clip hit the Internet. Cundle sued in Los Angeles on February 9, seeking damages for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and infliction of emotional distress. She filed as “Jane Doe,” but the media, including several British tabloids, found the video clip, put two and two together, and published her name. On February 28, a judge agreed to seal the lawsuit; the case’s next scheduled court date is a May 30 status conference.
Cundle reportedly insisted in the complaint that she and Cohen were on a Jewish youth-group trip to Israel from Britain in 1987, but were not as close as Cohen implied. “That part of the segment which refers to the Plaintiff as having been pregnant by Baron Cohen is libelous on its face,” the complaint stated. “It clearly exposes Plaintiff to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy because it outright imputes unchastity to her, and it describes a sexual relationship with Plaintiff and an assertion of Plaintiff’s pregnancy by Baron Cohen as a result of that sexual relationship.”
Cundle didn’t return a call, and her attorney, Victor Daniels of Los Angeles — another British Jew — declined comment. Matt Labov, Cohen’s publicist, also refused to discuss the matter. An HBO spokeswoman, who declined to provide her name, told the Forward, “We don’t believe this claim has any merit.”