Fans of Jeanise Jones, the babysitter who has won hearts and minds after starring in Borat 2, have rallied and raised more than $45,000 (£34k) after she was tricked into a participating in Sacha Baron Cohen’s film.
The woman, from Oklahoma, appeared in the sequel after she was tasked with looking after Borat’s daughter Tutar (played by Maria Bakalova).
In the film, which was released on Amazon Prime Video last week, Jones is shown trying to talk sense into 15-year-old Tutar Sagdiyev, who Borat wants to have breast implants and marry a rich American man.
Of course it was all for show but Jones was under the belief she was appearing in a documentary, and that Tutar’s plight was real; she has since said that she had no idea it was Sacha Baron Cohen and that she wanted to ‘kick his butt’ during filming.
Now the pastor of her local church has started a GoFundMe page, after explaining Jones was recruited to be part of a ‘documentary’ – AKA Borat Subsequent Film – through the church.
Started by Pastor Derrick Scobey, the fundraiser has managed to raise $45k in three days for the mother-of-three, who was left unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic, after Jones was recruited from the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City when producers spoke to him about needing a ‘Black Grandmother’ for a ‘documentary’.
He wrote: ‘Jeanise emerged as that person and 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.’
Adding that nothing Jones said in the film was scripted and it ‘came from the heart’, he noted it was at least a good thing she no longer had to worry about Tutar.
‘Please consider giving a contribution to simply to say thank you to Jeanise for being “A moral compass and a light shining in darkness” in this movie,’ he went on, before adding: ‘I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Sacha Cohen Baron and Monica Levinson (Producer) for casting Jeanise in this movie.’
Fans noted their love of Jones in the comments, as they flocked to donate.
One noted the effect Jones had, writing: ‘I literally paused the movie after your first appearance and said “thank goodness for this genuine, tell-it-like-it-is woman who isn’t going to go along with the ridiculous BS!” You are a beautiful and empowering soul.’
Wanting more people to be like Jones, another added: ‘We need more people willing to be compassionate, and I want to live in a society that explicitly values that, so I’m putting my money where my mouth is…’
Speaking to Metro.co.uk about her appearance in the film, Jones said: ‘It’s only now I realise it’s a comedy and that he [Sacha Baron Cohen] is famous. At the time I didn’t recognise him, I thought he was for real.
‘He was saying some crazy stuff while we were on camera, which got me upset.
‘I was thinking “are you for real?” and was just being honest with him and with her.
‘While I was with him and the girl I thought was his daughter he was saying she wanted a boob job and I thought, “what does a 15-year-old girl need a boob job for?”’
Jones added: ‘She was a pretty girl no doubt about it and I told her she was beautiful as she is.
‘They were also saying that in her country women didn’t go to school and he was getting her ready to marry a rich American and I was saying “what do you want to get married to an old man for?”
‘I could have kicked his butt and given him some choice words, it was hard not to give him some strong language you can’t say on television.
‘I’m glad now that I didn’t get that serious. I thought all I could do was tell them to do the right thing and let them take it or leave it. It was an experience.’
Borat 2 is available on Amazon Prime now.
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