Shocking scene in new Borat film
Donald Trump's personal lawyer and adviser Rudy Giuliani is at the centre of a scandalous scene in the upcoming Borat movie sequel.
In the film, Mr Giuliani - the former mayor of New York City - has been fooled into meeting with 24-year-old actress Maria Bakalova, who is playing Borat's daughter and posing as a conservative TV journalist.
The pair meet in a hotel room after a fake interview - but things soon take an extremely awkward turn when the 76-year-old begins to hold her hands, compliment her looks and follow her to the bedroom.
Ms Bakalova then removes the pair's microphones and Mr Giuliani lies down on the bed before putting his hands down his pants.
Thankfully they are interrupted when Borat - clad in pink, lacy underwear - bursts into the room and says: "She's 15. She's too old for you".
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However, Mr Giuliani and his team have repeatedly claimed he actually foiled the entire incident.
"This guy comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit," Mr Giuliani said.
"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.
"This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shakedown, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away.
"I only later realised 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."
The next day, Mr Giuliani's Communications Director, Christianne Allen, took to Twitter to again claim he had foiled the fiasco.
"Rudy Giuliani foiled Sacha Cohen's attempted scam interview, ultimately ending in a stupefied Cohen," Ms Allen posted.
"At the conclusion of an interview for a documentary on Donald Trump's leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cohen barged onto the set screaming hysterically while wearing a multi-coloured bikini with a mesh sash.
"Unfooled and placid, Mayor Giuliani notified security to call the police. It was then, upon hearing the word police, Cohen turned from a screaming banshee into a fleeing hyena.
"I hear he was last seen running down the street in his bathrobe. Better luck next time Sacha!"
But some commentators - including Mother Jones editorial director Ben Dreyfuss - claim the scene is completely innocent.
Taking to Twitter in defence of Mr Giuliani, he argues the screenshot simply shows Mr Giuliani tucking in his shirt.
"Though it is creepy for other reasons it is being described on Twitter in a false way. He does not have his hand down his pants in a sexual way. He is tucking his shirt back in after she untucks it removing his mic," Mr Dreyfuss posted on Twitter.
"The scene is confusingly edited for comedic purposes which makes sense since this is a comedy film and not a 60 Minutes expose. It would be good to keep that in mind in light of the flattening of media where everything can seem like everything else.
"There are parts of this scene that are creepy though! In the same scene he pats her on the lower back in a very weird way. You will be able to find stuff you don't like watching it. But I do not think the description of the 'hand in the pants' thing is fair."
WHO IS RUDY GIULIANI?
The Republican lawyer and politician served as New York City mayor from 1994 to 2001.
Crime rates dropped considerably during his administration, and he also gained international attention for his response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, with Time magazine naming him its Person of the Year that year.
The 76-year-old was replaced by billionaire Michael Bloomberg and after leaving the mayoral office, he spent many years campaigning for Republican politicians before being appointed as President Donald Trump's cybersecurity adviser in January 2017.
The father of two then joined Mr Trump's legal team in April 2018.
BORAT'S RISE TO FAME
Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was already known for his Ali G persona, but it was the character of bumbling Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev that catapulted him to global fame via the 2006 mockumentary comedy film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
Borat became a worldwide phenomenon, thanks to his trademark deadpan humour, awkward social interactions and ability to catch out clueless conservative American figures who failed to realise they were being made fun of.
The sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, will be released this week.
Originally published as Shocking scene in new Borat film