'Rebel' redacted: Rebel Wilson's book chapter on Sacha Baron Cohen struck from some copies

It seems Rebel Wilson and her team decided to keep parts of her book “Rebel Rising” from hitting some shelves — perhaps to avoid legal backlash from former co-star Sacha Baron Cohen.

Weeks after the Australian “Pitch Perfect” and “Senior Year” star published her memoir in the U.S., HarperCollins reportedly confirmed that some copies of “Rebel Rising” won’t include a controversial chapter about Wilson’s experience working with Cohen on the 2016 comedy film “The Brothers Grimsby.” The chapter, reportedly titled “Sacha Baron Cohen and Other A—,” will be printed as black lines in copies sold in Australia and New Zealand, the Guardian reported Thursday.

“For legal reasons we have redacted one chapter in the Australian/New Zealand edition and included an explanatory note accordingly,” a HarperCollins spokesperson said in a statement shared with multiple outlets. “That chapter is a very small part of a much bigger story and we’re excited for readers to know Rebel’s story when the book is released.”

Representatives for Wilson and HarpersCollins did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment on Thursday.

While promoting “Rebel Rising” in March, 44-year-old Wilson revealed that Cohen was the “massive a—” who inspired a chapter of her book. In a since-expired Instagram story, she accused the “Borat” star, 52, of hiring “high priced lawyers or PR crisis managers” to threaten the publication of the chapter.

“The ‘a—’ that I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is: Sacha Baron Cohen,” she announced in the Instagram story.

In March, representatives for Cohen denied what they called Wilson’s “demonstrably false claims” about his alleged behavior toward her on the set of “The Brothers Grimsby.” The statement cited “extensive detailed evidence, including contemporaneous documents, film footage, and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during and after the production of ‘The Brothers Grimsby.’”

In an excerpt published by People in late March, Wilson writes about her co-star’s alleged behavior, noting he would “mention that he wanted me to go naked in a future scene,” despite her no-nudity clause. She also alleged that Cohen pitched a sexual sight gag for the film.

”The movie bombed, which to me was karma enough. I’m not about canceling anybody and that’s not my motivation for sharing this story,” she wrote. “I’m sharing my story now because the more women talk about things like this, hopefully the less it happens.”

Amid the growing Wilson-Cohen feud, the U.K. and Australia releases of “Rebel Rising” faced delays. At the time, HarperCollins reportedly said the release dates were “moved to coincide with Rebel Wilson’s press tours.”

Readers in Australia and New Zealand aren’t the only ones missing out on Wilson’s full account of Cohen’s alleged behavior. U.K. versions of “Rebel Rising” will also feature a redaction for “most of one page,” “some other small redactions” and an “explanatory note,” HarperCollins told the Guardian.

In response to the “Rebel Rising” redactions, a spokesperson for Cohen alleged that “HarperCollins did not fact-check this chapter in the book prior to publication and took the sensible but terribly belated step of deleting Rebel Wilson’s defamatory claims once presented with evidence that they were false.”

The statement, shared with The Times on Thursday, continued: “Printing falsehoods is against the law in the UK and Australia; this is not a ‘peculiarity’ as Ms. Wilson said, but a legal principle that has existed for many hundreds of years. This is a clear victory for Sacha Baron Cohen and confirms what we said from the beginning — that this is demonstrably false, in a shameful and failed effort to sell books.”

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