Sacha Baron Cohen has pulled a lot of outrageous pranks over the past couple of decades. None have been quite as insane as the one that ends with Rudy Giuliani’s hands in his pants.
When the trailer for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm dropped online earlier this month, it stood to reason that the climax of the highly anticipated sequel would involve Baron Cohen’s iconic Kazakh character attempting to deliver his daughter as a gift to Vice President Mike Pence at CPAC while dressed in an elaborate Donald Trump costume.
In fact, that scene, which got picked up by conservative media outlets all the way back in February—with no one the wiser that Baron Cohen was behind the prank—comes and goes within the first third of the new movie, out on Amazon Prime Video this Friday.
But while Pence emerges from the film more or less unscathed, another close confidant of the president’s does not.
The following details come with a major spoiler alert for anyone who doesn’t want to know what happens. At first it seemed as though Giuliani himself may have spoiled the ending this past July when he revealed to his favorite newspaper the New York Post that he had called the NYPD on Baron Cohen after the prankster comedian burst into an interview he was doing wearing what he described as a “pink transgender outfit.”
Speaking to WABC radio that same month, Giuliani admitted that Baron Cohen was trying to capture him in a “compromising” situation. But when he was asked if he did anything that he might be “regretful” about, he replied, “I don’t think so, I’m trying to remember.”
In Giuliani’s telling, he was answering questions on camera from a female reporter when they were abruptly interrupted. “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,” the former New York City mayor and current personal lawyer for President Trump said. “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.”
After watching the film, it becomes abundantly clear that Baron Cohen most certainly did “get” Giuliani.
The larger premise of the consistently funny sequel, nimbly directed by Jason Woliner, is that Borat Sagdiyev must redeem himself in the eyes of his country’s premier after bringing shame on Kazakhstan with the original film. Ultimately a plan is reached to wed his teenage daughter Tutar—played brilliantly by the mostly unknown and somewhat mysterious Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova—to someone in President Trump’s inner circle.
With Pence off the table—and, as they joke, most of Trump’s other close associates in prison—they set their sights on Giuliani. “Rudolph was Donald’s best buddy in whole world,” Borat says in his voiceover. “And also very dignified statesman of the highest order. This would not be easy.”
“Luckily I discover his preference for womens with ample cheese-producing capacity,” he adds, referring to yet another Page Six article that claimed Giuliani had “been bragging to pals about having an affair with a married woman with ‘big boobs.’”
After an extended bit in which Borat tries to force Tutar to get breast implants—and a long and deeply revealing detour surrounding the COVID-19 lockdown that includes the previously-leaked prank Baron Cohen pulled on a far-right militia rally in Washington state—the film arrives at the fateful interview with Giuliani.
Posing as a conservative journalist in the mold of Tomi Lahren—albeit with a strong eastern European accent—Tutar sits down with Giuliani in a Manhattan hotel suite for an “interview” in which she mostly flatters him into creepily flirting with her. “I’ll relax you, you want me to ask you a question?” Giuliani says as she giggles in response. After blaming China for the coronavirus, he agrees to “eat a bat” with his interviewer, who repeatedly touches his knee to egg him on.
Baron Cohen first interrupts the interview dressed as a sound engineer with a large boom mic, but leaves before it’s over. At that point, Tutar offers to “have a drink in the bedroom” with Giuliani, who happily obliges.
On what appear to be hidden cameras, we see Giuliani remove her microphone and ask for her phone number and address as he sits down on the bed. He starts patting her backside as she removes the microphone from his pants. Giuliani then lies down on the bed and starts sticking his hands down his pants in a seemingly suggestive manner.
But before anything more can happen, Borat bursts into the room and shouts, “Put down your chram!”—his preferred word for penis. “She’s 15! She’s too old for you!”
The startled Giuliani, who had no reason to believe his interviewer was underage, sits up abruptly and gets out of there as fast as he can. “Rudy, Trump will be disappoint! You are leaving hotel without golden shower!” Borat yells after him.
After that, the film concludes with one more big and hilarious reveal that we won’t be spoiling here.
The Daily Beast reached out to Giuliani to clarify what exactly he thought was happening in that hotel room, and how far things might have gone before Baron Cohen interrupted them. By Wednesday afternoon, neither Giuliani nor his own attorney, Robert Costello, had responded to calls, messages, or emails seeking comment.
Details of the scene publicly emerged just as the pugnacious Trump lawyer has been waging, in the closing weeks of the 2020 race, his latest campaign against the president’s Democratic opponent Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Giuliani, with President Trump’s prior approval and encouragement, has devoted his time as a prominent Trump ally and confidant to publicizing the contents of what he says is a hard drive full of Hunter’s files and private messages.
Along with focusing on Hunter’s foreign business dealings, the Trump attorney has also lambasted Biden and his son over the lurid alleged details of Hunter’s personal excesses, addiction, and struggles. Giuliani has done this much to the frustration of certain other Trump advisers who feel that focusing too much on Hunter’s private life risks making him and his father seem more sympathetic.
In an interview with The Daily Beast published on Saturday, Giuliani said that prior to the publication of the New York Post’s initial story on the Hunter-related files, he told President Trump “that there were… a number of photographs that show very explicit sexual activity, and other very personal things.”
The president’s personal lawyer said that he did not show Trump the photos or images, because he did not want Trump to talk about that content in any great detail. Giuliani added that he had specifically advised his client that if any of that salacious material were to be published, the president should just say that “he will have to have it reviewed to see if it’s a danger to national security… because this is precisely the thing that [Trump’s foes] said they had on him… [with the urinating] prostitutes on the bed.”
In less than a week after that interview, another news story would emerge that involved a bed, supposedly explicit content, and “very personal things.” It’s just that Hunter Biden wasn’t at the center of it.
For more, listen to Sacha Baron Cohen on The Last Laugh podcast.