Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen donates $100,000 to community of prank victim Jeanise Jones

October 30, 2020

Sacha Baron Cohen has donated $100,000 (£77,000) to the Oklahoma community of an unemployed grandmother who featured in his Borat sequel.

Jeanise Jones, 62, had a small role in the mockumentary Borat Subsequent Moviefilm but had no idea it was a spoof. She thought she was in a documentary about child brides.

She took the part of "black grandmother" after her pastor Derrick Scobey suggested her for the role.

In the film she babysits Borat's fictional 15-year-old daughter Tutar, played by Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova.

Ms Jones later told the New York Post she had been worried about Tutar and had been led to believe she was being groomed to marry a rich man.

Following the film's release, she was hailed a hero by many viewers for deflecting misogynistic comments made by Borat (played by Baron Cohen) and showing real kindness towards the young girl.

A crowdfunding page set up by Reverend Scobey "to say thank you" to Ms Jones has so far raised over $145,000 (£112,000).

The money donated by Baron Cohen will be distributed by Ebenezer Baptist Church, to help the community with shelter and food following an ice storm earlier this week.

Rev Scobey told People magazine: "I was blown away but not surprised because I was told about what type of heart this man has.

"Maybe it's a little risque, some of the things in the movie, but he has a good heart."

He explained that Ms Jones, along with other members of his congregation, have been housing vulnerable people affected by the storm after hospitals became overrun.

Calling her "the moral compass of the movie" he says she is now "sitting here serving people in the dark and in the cold".

On the GoFundMe page set up in her honour, Rev Scobey calls Ms Jones "one of the most authentic people I've ever met".

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He adds that despite having a job for over 32 years, she is currently unemployed due to COVID-19.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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