The most controversial scene in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan involves President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, getting into an apparently compromising position with Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat's 15-year-old daughter Tutar. Giuliani appears to put his hand down his pants during the scene, in which Tutar is posing as a journalist. Star Sacha Baron Cohen said he was "quite concerned" for Bakalova, 24, while she was filming the scene and kept a close eye on the situation from another room.
"We built a hideaway that I was hiding in during the entire scene. So I was monitoring it by text. It's my responsibility as a producer as well to ensure that the lead actor is looked after," Baron Cohen explained on Good Morning America Friday, reports Entertainment Tonight. Bakalova, a Bulgarian actress who has only appeared in a handful of other movies, said the hideaway did make her feel "safe."
"I want to thank you that I was sure you were going to save me from everything," Bakalova said. "I always felt safe with our team, with our crew, with Sacha in my corner. I actually never felt that I'd be in danger. That's why I'm lucky because I had them."
Baron Cohen did not want to make judgments on the scene as himself, telling GMA he wanted viewers to decide if Giuliani was acting inappropriately on their own. "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," the actor said. "I just urge everyone to watch the movie -- it is what it is, he did what he did -- and make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us."
Borat 2 was released on Amazon Prime Video Friday, but descriptions of the Giuliani scene surfaced in Vanity Fair earlier this week. Giuliani denied any wrongdoing, claiming he was "tucking in my shirt" after he took off the recording equipment and "if Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar." Giuliani claimed he called police after he realized it was a set-up. Giuliani also cited a July 8 Page Six report about him calling the police on Baron Cohen.
On Thursday, Baron Cohen released a new video as Borat, showing him "defending" Giuliani for having an "innocent sexy time encounter between a consenting man and my 15-year-old daughter." Borat said the incident was "turned into something disgusting by fake news media." In the end, Borat warned, "Anyone else try this, and Rudolph will not hesitate to reach into his legal briefs and whip out his supenis."