Borat's Sacha Baron Cohen donates $100,000 to Jeanise Jones' church

Image source, Amazon Studios
Image caption,
There has been an outpouring of support for Jeanise Jones from viewers of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Sacha Baron Cohen has donated $100,000 (£77,000) to the community church attended by Jeanise Jones, one of the unwitting stars of the new Borat film.

Baron Cohen, in character as the Kazakh journalist, plays pranks on US citizens including the 62-year-old grandmother in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

Viewers have praised the kindness shown by Ms Jones towards Borat's daughter.

Pastor Derrick Scobey of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City said he was "blown away" by Cohen's donation.

He told People the money would help the community, which is currently struggling with ice storms and power outages, rather than going to the church itself.

"I was blown away but not surprised because I was told about what type of heart this man has," Mr Scobey told the magazine.

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

He explained that Ms Jones and the church had been housing local citizens and others affected by the ice storm in Oklahoma earlier this week, as hospitals in the area have been overrun.

Image source, Amazon Studios
Image caption,
Jeanise Jones (right) has been praised for deflecting misogynistic comments during the spoof documentary

Ms Jones features in several scenes in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm after being asked to babysit Borat's fictional 15-year-old daughter Tutar (played by actress Maria Bakalova).

Ms Jones deflects misogynistic comments made by Borat, encourages Tutar to "be happy", and tells her to "use your brain, because your daddy is a liar".

Ms Jones was originally told she was taking part in a documentary about child brides.

Following the film's release last week, Mr Scobey set up a crowdfunding page to allow fans "to say thank you" to Ms Jones.

On the page, which has raised more than $140,000 (£107,000), Mr Scobey said the movie's producers had asked him to help them find a "black grandmother for a small role in a documentary".

He said Ms Jones had recently lost her job of 32 years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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