Sacha Baron Cohen told an old secret this week having to do with Pamela Anderson, who appeared in his 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and her ex-husband Kid Rock.
Baron Cohen, who was talking in advance of Emmy nominations to promote his Showtime series Who Is America?, admitted that Anderson's appearance in the last part of the film was cleared with her. "She was the only person in on that movie, yes. Otherwise, it would have been kidnapping," he told The Daily Beast.
However, not everyone was made privy to the information before the scene was filmed — including Kid Rock.
In the scene, Baron Cohen, playing an Anderson-obsessed Borat, approaches the Baywatch star at a book signing. He said he hoped to put her in a "traditional marriage sack" and take her back to Kazakhstan. Memorably, things went badly.
"We did that scene twice, actually,” Baron Cohen said. “The first time we did it at a book signing and I grabbed her over my shoulder and ran out with her and no one did anything. I was like, 'What kind of fans are these?' So we did it again and they started running after me."
The second scene drew a bit bigger of a reaction, but Anderson was accidentally injured in the struggle and lost a bit of bone in her jaw as a result of fans trying to stop "Borat" from "kidnapping" her. Calling her "amazingly brave," Baron Cohen said Anderson actually "lost two things" that day. "One, she lost a tiny bit of bone from her jaw, and secondly, she lost a husband."
When Anderson's then-husband, Kid Rock, saw the film, he reportedly flew into a rage, angry at the book signing-turned-staged-abduction.
Baron Cohen said that when he asked Anderson what her husband thought of the film, "She texted back, 'He's getting divorced.'"
"I was like, 'Why?' And she goes, 'The movie,'" he said. "And I thought it was a joke but then a few weeks later they got divorced and they put as a reason for divorce, Borat."
After dating on and off in the early aughts, Anderson and Kid Rock married in July 2006, with Anderson filing for divorce in Los Angeles County just four months later in November.
Previously, Anderson would not tell how she ended up in the movie. Shortly after its release, she demurred, telling the press, "I can't really say. I'm sworn to secrecy." Likewise, her divorce was widely reported in tabloids to stem from the movie, but never confirmed.
"I think they were a fantastic couple, so it's a shame. Much better than Julian Assange or whoever she dated later on," Baron Cohen joked.