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World News

Sacha Baron Cohen donates $100,000 to the church attended by unlikely Borat co-star

by Cara Bentley

The actor Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays Borat, has donated thousands of dollars to a Baptist church attended by Jeanise Jones, who featured in the second Borat film. 

Jeanise Jones, a 62-year-old Christian, thought she was filming a documentary about child marriage so looked after the 'Tutar', who was actually a character played by Maria Bakalova as part of Baren Cohen's prank film. 

According to her pastor, Reverend Derrick Scobey, she "WORRIED about her for a year."

Audiences, however, fell in love with Jones and her genuine kindness towards the teenager, who she thought was in a dangerous situation. 



After the film was released, Jones' pastor set up a GoFundMe page for her, saying that she is unemployed because of Covid and appealing to fans to help her out.  

He said: "she was completely unaware that this was a comedy, and all of this was made up. We have been praying for the young lady in the movie because we all genuinely thought she was in trouble. The joke is on us/Jeanise and that’s no problem. Many of you have reached from around the world to say thank you, so I thought it would be great to give people a vehicle to say thank you in a tangible way, She wasn’t paid much money at all for her role in this movie."

On the page, which has raised more than $170,000, Rev Scobey said the movie's producers had asked him to help them find a "black grandmother for a small role in a documentary".

Subsequently, Sacha Baren Cohen himself announced he would donate $100,000 to her church, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. 

All the money will be spent on outreach projects, such as shelters and food, and not the church itself. 

Pastor Derrick Scobey said he was "blown away but not surprised because I was told about what type of heart this man has."

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

Ms Jones features in several scenes in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and encourages Tutar to "be happy", and tells her to "use your brain, because your daddy is a liar".

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