Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm producer says Rudy Giuliani tried to get the crew arrested

Rudy Giuliani “fixing his mic” in Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm
Rudy Giuliani “fixing his mic” in Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm
Screenshot: Amazon Studios

Even if you didn’t watch Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, you’ve likely seen the video of the Rudy Giuliani scene that went viral on social media. But in case you haven’t: In the Borat sequel, Borat’s daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) lands an interview with Giuliani. Bakalova is 24 years old, but her character’s meant to be 15 years old. In their interview, Bakalova tells Donald Trump’s attorney that he’s one of her greatest heroes and Giuliani, feeling flattered, is flirty towards her. It’s extremely uncomfortable to watch and it somehow gets worse, as Giuliani accepts her invite to have a drink in her hotel suite’s bedroom. He helps her take off her mic, and asks her for her phone number and address, while patting her right above her buttocks. But the most shocking moment comes when Giuliani sticks his hands down his pants, allegedly trying to take off his mic—even though there’s no way the mic would be that far down below his belt. But before Giuliani can do anything, Borat comes barging in asking him to not do anything with his daughter.

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Now—thanks to a Producers Guild Of America panel over the weekend—we have a little more insight into what went on with Giuliani behind-the-scenes after filming. “He claimed we were trying to extort him at the time, which we didn’t ask for anything,” Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm producer Monica Levinson said at the PGA event, according to Deadline. “He called all of his New York City cops and said extortion, which is a federal crime. Very smart to bring that up.” Levinson also went on to say that hotel staff locked the film’s crew out of the hotel suite used to film the Giuliani interview, but thankfully the team was prepared for such action and had already transferred the files. “[The footage is] always out first. We would hide tapes in our pants. There’s always ways to make sure we got out the data,” said Levinson.

But while the footage was safe, the rest of the crew’s belongings were not and they were forced to rent new equipment to finish their shoots. Levinson, who had spent 19 hours in jail during the filming of the first Borat movie, did everything in her power to avoid having other crewmembers experience the same fate while filming the sequel, and says they ultimately avoided legal trouble by “confabbing with [their] lawyers.” All the drama seems to have been worth it: Bakalova is now an Oscar-nominated actor and the world has even more confirmation that Giuliani is a total creep.