Rudy Giuliani’s fall from grace smashed through bedrock when it was revealed on Wednesday that he stuck his hands down his pants during an encounter with a woman he believed to be a reporter. She was actually an actress in the new Borat sequel, which will be released Friday on Amazon.
The news lit up Twitter as soon as the Guardian reported the “indiscrete scene” featuring Giuliani and Maria Bakalova, who plays Tutar, the daughter of the movie’s title character, Borat — played, of course, by Sacha Baron Cohen. The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, who previously saw the moment in the film, described it as “beyond cringe.”
It’s the biggest prank pulled yet by Baron Cohen, who first started his shtick as pseudo-rapper Ali G but rocketed to international stardom as Kazakhstan reporter Borat Sagdiyev, pranking Americans from coast to coast in 2006’s smash movie.
It’s also a new low for Giuliani — the mob-busting U.S. Attorney turned New York City mayor turned “America’s mayor” turned failed presidential candidate turned Donald Trump’s hatchet man turned possible useful idiot of Russian intelligence.
Here’s everything we know about what happened.
On July 7, Giuliani arrived at the Mark Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for an interview with a woman he thought was a conservative reporter about the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response, he told the New York Post that month. Giuliani said he was offered money, but asked that the money to be donated to a 9/11 charity instead.
Once there, he met an Eastern European version of Tomi Lahren, as the Daily Beast put it, played by the Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova. In Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, as the sequel is called, Bakalova portrays Borat’s 15-year-old daughter, Tutar. Though in the scene with Giuliani, she portrays an adult woman.
Giuliani and Bakalova are alone in a hotel suite together, save for a brief appearance by Baron Cohen posing as a sound technician. According to Showbiz 411, Baron Cohen observes Giuliani’s infatuation with Bakalova, who is wearing a body-hugging dress, and remarks, “You should stick to marrying your cousin” — a jab at Giuliani’s first marriage to his second cousin.
Bakalova tells Giuliani she’s nervous during the interview. “I’ll relax you,” he tells her while drinking whiskey. After blaming the coronavirus on China, he makes a remark about eating bats (an apparent reference to one theory of how humans contracted the virus) and asks Bakalova, “Have you ever eaten a bat?” She bats her eyelashes and invites him into the adjoining bedroom for a drink. Unbeknownst to him, the room is wired with hidden recording equipment.
Giuliani, apparently thinking the interview has ended and a romantic session has begun, sits on the bed and removes Bakalova’s microphone from her person, and asks for her phone number and address. That’s when Giuliani starts “patting her backside,” as the Daily Beast put it. Then Bakalova “pushes him down on the bead and starts unbuckling his pants to remove the microphone,” according to Showbiz 411.
Finally, the big moment: Giuliani sticks his hands down the front of his pants — maybe to remove the mic, maybe to do something else.
At that moment, Baron Cohen bursts into the room wearing a woman’s wig and underwear and tells Giuliani: “She’s 15! She’s too old for you!”
Giuliani said on Wednesday evening he wasn’t exposing himself, but tucking in his shirt after Bakalova removed his mic.
After baselessly claiming the scene was part of some plot to help Joe Biden, he said he would commence further leaks from the purported hard drive of Hunter Biden that he claims to have in his possession.
Giuliani bolted from the suite and called the cops, he told the Post in July: “This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shake-down, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away.”
“I only later realized it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen,” he said. “I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me.”
Giuliani apparently didn’t realize that he had, in fact, been tricked.