Rudy Giuliani, New York City’s former mayor and President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, was caught on camera appearing to touch his genitals in front of a woman he believed was a journalist, but was actually an actor involved in the sequel to Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie “Borat.”
Baron Cohen’s follow-up to his 2006 hit comedy, to be released Friday, features a scene with Giuliani touching himself in the presence of a woman pretending to be a conservative reporter, as multiple publications have reported.
After holding a mock interview with Giuliani, actor Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat’s daughter in the new film, goes with the former mayor into a hotel suite rigged with hidden cameras. Giuliani sits on the bed, Bakalova appears to remove his microphone, and Giuliani then lies back and reaches into his pants.
Soon afterward, Baron Cohen, playing Borat, bursts into the room and says, “She’s 15, she’s too old for you!” (Bakalova is 24 years old).
In a radio interview Wednesday afternoon, Giuliani said he was lying on the bed so he could tuck in his shirt.
“I had to take off the electronic equipment,” Giuliani told WABC. “And when the electronic equipment came off, some of it was in the back and my shirt came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on. I leaned back, and I tucked my shirt in, and at that point, at that point, they have this picture they take which looks doctored, but in any event, I’m tucking my shirt in. I assure you that’s all I was doing.”
“They’ll do anything,” he added. “They’ve attacked me over everything possible, investigated every business dealing I’ve ever had. And now the idiot Borat is going after me with a totally sensationalized false account of a ridiculous movie I guess that he’s done.”
Giuliani told the New York Post in early July that he thought he was participating in a real interview, only to find out he was being fooled by Baron Cohen, who is notorious for pranking public figures in his films.
“This guy comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit,” Giuliani said at the time. “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.”
Thinking he was the victim of a “scam or shakedown,” the former mayor called the police and Baron Cohen sprinted away. Police did not pursue charges.
In Giuliani’s estimation at the time, the actor failed to truly prank him.
“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.”