“I would say that if the president’s lawyer found what he did there ‘appropriate behavior,’ then heaven knows what he’s done with other female journalists in hotel rooms,” Sacha Baron Cohen said during the Oct. 23 episode of Good Morning America. Sacha, 49, was responding to Rudy Giuliani’s claims that he did nothing wrong during his reported scene in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. During the prank in question, the ex-NYC mayor is reportedly caught putting his hand down his pants after being “interviewed” by Maria Bakalova (the actress who plays Borat’s daughter in the film, disguised as a journalist for this scene.)
“I urge everyone to watch the movie. It is what it is,” Sacha told Good Morning America, echoing Donald Trump’s now-infamous nonchalant response to the 200,000+ people killed by COVID-19. “[Rudy] did what he did. And, make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us.” Sacha also said that he was “concerned” for Maria during the scene and told GMA that he was “monitoring” things from a specially constructed “hideaway.”
Though Maria, 24, said she was grateful for Sacha for ensuring her safety, she clarified that she never felt unsafe during the film. “I always felt safe with our team, with our crew, with Sacha in our corner. I actually never felt like I was in danger. That’s why I’m lucky – because I had them.”
At the climax of the scene, Sacha bursts into the room while wearing pink lingerie, startling Rudy, 76. “She’s 15. She’s too old for you!” he shouts. It should be noted that Maria is not 15 and that Rudy had no reason to believe that her journalist character was underage. Sacha, while dressed in lingerie, pleads for the former mayor to “take me instead.”
In July, Rudy admitted that he didn’t know he was pranked by Sacha and filed an NYPD report about the incident. “This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shake-down,” he said to The New York Post, “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.”
Except, it appears that he did. Who knew that going into the last weeks of the U.S. presidential election, the biggest political feud wouldn’t be Trump versus Joe Biden, but Rudy versus Borat. 2020 is wild.