There are many shocking scenes in the Sacha Baron Cohen-starring “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the much-hyped sequel to the 2006 smash hit “Borat,” the majority of which skewer America’s crumbling political discourse, but none quite as damning as a final act segment centered around President Trump’s personal attorney and “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani. The film, which will be available on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, sees Baron Cohen reprising his role as the idiot Kazakh journalist, who returns to the “US and A” in hopes of currying favor with the political elite. Eventually, he settles on Giuliani as a target of his pointed pranks, who appears in the film as a lecherous, doddering interview subject all too eager to get handsy with a fake young journalist.
“They’ll do anything. They’ve attacked me over everything possible, investigated every business dealing I’ve ever had,” Giuliani told radio station WABC Wednesday afternoon (via The Daily Beast). “And now the idiot Borat is going after me with a totally sensationalized false account of a ridiculous movie I guess that he’s done.”
“Now let me tell you why I know this is a hit job that happens because, it’s not an accident that it happens that I turn in all this evidence on their prince and darling Joe Biden who’s one of the biggest crooks in the last thirty years, and since I have the courage to say that I’m the target,” he added.”
The scene in question was filmed in July, therefore it’s unlikely that its debut now has anything to do with Giuliani’s recent attempts at making Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop an October surprise.
“Everybody in Hollywood hates me, you know, right?” he said. “I’m a devil in Hollywood. Nothing about me comes out in that period of time, nothing sensational about me in the movie. Now all of a sudden there’s all this sensational stuff about me in the movie. Don’t know if it was added, doctored, manipulated, whatever.”
In the film’s last act, breakout star Maria Bakalova (cast here as Tutar, Borat’s 15-year-old daughter, though Bakalova is in her mid-twenties) finagles an interview with Giuliani in a Manhattan hotel room. During the course of their interview, which is set up in a hotel suite’s living room with a full camera and lighting rig (that is to say, like a professional taped interview), Giuliani is particularly hands-on with the actress, who is pretending to be the face of a right-wing news outfit (that, of course, does not exist).
At one point, a disguised Baron Cohen arrives, posing as a sound technician, during which he and Bakalova loudly bicker, all while the actor messes with various pieces of equipment on Giuliani. At one point, Baron Cohen cracks to Giuliani that Bakalova would make a “very nagging wife,” cracking that “if I were you, I would stick to marrying my cousins.” Giuliani, who has been drinking alcohol throughout the interview, seems oddly unbothered. The “cousins” joke is a reference to how Giuliani had annulled his marriage of 14 years to his first wife, Regina Peruggi, on the grounds that he’d discovered they were second cousins.
Later, Bakalova and Giuliani conclude the interview and move into the suite’s bedroom specifically to keep drinking. Giuliani tells the young “journalist” she can “give him her phone number and address,” while continuing touching her and eventually laying down on the bed while Bakalova appears to be removing a mic from his person. Soon after, Giuliani is seen reaching into his unbuttoned pants, tucking in his shirt for an extended period of time, and staying prone on the bed while Bakalova stands over him. That’s when Baron Cohen comes crashing back in, seemingly saving his young co-star from further physical contact with Giuliani, who jumps up and screams at Baron Cohen.
In his WABC interview, Giuliani also claimed he “prayed” with Bakalova. But several inaccuracies in Giuliani’s story present themselves when compared with the actual film: he also told the radio station that Bakalova offered him a massage and it was at that point that he left. Rather, it’s quite clear by watching the film that he only leaves when Sacha Baron Cohen bursts into the room.
“When I get up, she says something about, Do I want a massage?’ I realize now that this is a setup.” And then Giuliani claimed during his interview that he left immediately and told his security personnel to call the NYPD. Instead, in the film, the first thing he says is to Baron Cohen himself: “Why are you wearing that?”
Giuliani also elaborated to WABC about why he appeared to be taking off his microphone in order to relax with Bakalova. “I had to take off the electronic equipment… And when the electronic equipment came off, some of it was in the back and my shirt came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on. I leaned back, and I tucked my shirt in, and at that point, at that point, they have this picture they take which looks doctored, but in any event, I’m tucking my shirt in. I assure you that’s all I was doing.”
When the prank was first revealed this past July, Giuliani spoke to Page Six about the incident, attempting to paint it in a far different light than what appears in the finished film. At the time, he told the outlet that in the midst of the interview, which was being conducted by a female interviewer “with a professional set-up of lights and camera,” a man came storming in wearing an outrageous outfit. The former mayor told the publication, “This guy comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit. It was a pink bikini, with lace, underneath a translucent mesh top, it looked absurd. He had the beard, bare legs, and wasn’t what I would call distractingly attractive.”
Giuliani appears to have been conflating the two scenes shown in the film: the first, in which Baron Cohen appears as a sound tech, and the second, in which he comes “running in” clad in a crazy outfit. At no point did Giuliani acknowledge drinking with the young “journalist,” nor retiring to the bedroom with her and taking his pants down.
While Giuliani would later identify the interview-crasher as Baron Cohen, he told Page Six he did not realize it at first and reported the incident to the police. “This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shake-down,” he said. “So I reported it to the police. He then ran away. … I only later realized it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me.”
When reached earlier this week, director of operations Madeline Fazio at law firm Miller Zeiderman LLP, which represented Giuliani in his 2019 divorce, said the firm had “no comment” on their client’s behalf. Calls and texts sent to Giuliani directly also went unanswered.
(1) The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment.
At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) October 21, 2020