The conservative One America News Network (OAN) is threatening to sue Sacha Baron Cohen after an actress posing as his daughter in the new Borat film ‘duped’ their White House correspondent into showing her around the presidential compound.
Maria Bakalova, 24, on September 16 made it inside the White House with Chanel Rion, and was allowed steps from the Oval Office.
She also toured the press areas and grounds north of the White House.
On Monday OAN said that they were considering legal action against Baron Cohen for the stunt – which never made it in to the film, but was tweeted by the Borat star.
‘In the spirit of assisting a young female journalist reaching out for help, Ms Rion engaged with Ms Bakalova,’ OAN said in a statement, explaining that Bakalova falsely claimed she was producing and hosting a documentary on the negative impacts of socialism.
‘They lied to OAN about their intentions.
‘The practices deployed were malicious, deceptive, and defamatory. Their production staff approached OAN under false pretenses.’
The network said they knew Bakalova was an actress and studied film, but that she and her production staff ‘passed the required security checks’.
The cameraman and audio technician had White House-issued credentials, OAN said.
Maria Bakalova, 24, on September 16 made it inside the White House with OAN correspondent Chanel Rion
The Borat character posted footage of actress Maria Bakalova, who plays his daughter in Borat 2, being interviewed by OAN’s Chanel Rion at the White House. A Marine stationed behind them indicates that the president was in the West Wing
The film character Borat tweeted out footage of the event on Friday, mocking what the account cast as a security breach.
‘Trump very careful who he let into his events and house. No Covid test necessary – High 5!’
He attached footage of Bakalova.
The Borat character mocks the conservative network as ‘most rigorous news source in America,’ and includes footage of Trump calling on ‘OAN’ and Rion claiming to have uncovered ‘multiple crimes’ in Ukraine committed by the Bidens.
The White House visit is one of three encounters which span months.
Bakalova – who at the time was brunette – was both at a Trump reception for supporters in Phoenix and shook hands with Donald Trump Jr at the CPAC conservative conference, both in February.
She visited the White House – this time with blond hair – in September, two months after the Giuliuani encounter.
Bakalov is 24, but her character in the movie is his 15-year-old daughter.
The footage of her encounters with Trump and the first family were released on Twitter and are not in the movie itself, suggesting that there may be more material coming from Baron Cohen’s production team.
At event: ‘Borat’s daughter’ was also at this Trump reception on February 19 before a rally in Phoenix. The camera pans from Trump to show the actress
Applauding the president: This is Maria Bakalova as the camera pans from Donald Trump, his son Don Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle at a reception for supporters on February 19. She changes from brunette to blonde in the course of the movie
The Borat Twitter account sent out the clip hours after the release of his new film
The film clip raises serious questions about security and safety at the White House.
September 20 was just days before the super-spreader unveiling of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett, and a time when people coming on to White House property were supposed to be tested for coroanvirus.
But in the clip, narrated in character by Baron Cohen, he said: ‘I know this because they take my daughter into the White House,’ he said – as the short video switches to footage shot on the north lawn with Bakalova.
She also tours the White House briefing room, which is right outside the West Wing offices used by the president and his staff.
BORAT’S MONTHS OF TRUMP WORLD ‘PENETRATIONS’
FEBRUARY 19, 2020
Maria Bakalova, 24, a Bulgarian national who is playing Borat’s 15-year-old daughter Tutar Sagdiyev, is filmed at a reception for Trump’s supporters in a small conference room before a mega-rally in Phoenix, AZ. On stage with the president are his son Don Jr. and Don Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, before the camera pans to Bakalova, at this point a brunette, clapping exuberantly
Sacha Baron Cohen, playing Borat but dressed up as President Donald Trump in a 56-inch fat suit, runs into the main hall at CPAC where Vice President Mike Pence is speaking. Baron Cohen is carrying Bakalova and shouts: ‘Michael Pennis! I brought a girl for you!’ He is escorted out but not arrested and his cover is not busted
At the same event Bakalova introduces herself to Don Jr. telling him she is ‘excited’ to meet him
Bakalova arranges to ‘interview’ Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, at the Mark Hotel in New York. After the interview, she invites him to drink Scotch in the bedroom of the hotel suite where the interview took place, where he lies down on the bed. After telling her he will give her his ‘phone number and address,’ he touches her above the waist and undoes his pants. Baron Cohen rushes in shouting: ‘She 15. She too old for you.’ Giuliani flees and his security guard calls the police. Giuliani tells the New York Post about some of the encounter that day but leaves out the part where he goes into the bedroom and has his hand down his pants
Bakalova – who is now blond – is seen at the White House with OAN correspondent Chanel Rion, going into the Brady Press Briefing Room where Trump that day delivers a COVID briefing and walking close to the Rose Garden. The president is in the West Wing as she is filmed speaking to Rion walking the grounds of the White House
‘No need for security test or COVID test. They boring,’ he said.
It is unclear how an actress would be able to access the executive mansion in the identity of her character – and particularly given that Baklova is Bulgarian, not American. DailyMail.com has asked the White House for comment.
The Borat clip identifies the White House clip as September 20, although DailyMail.com obtained footage of the encounter on Sept. 16.
She may have been a guest of Rion, a controversial figure who crashed White House COVID briefings and refused to wear a mask, and who has opened a feud with the White House Correspondents Association over their attempt to curb numbers of journalists on the property during the pandemic.
Rion has partied at Mar-a-Lago and boasts close ties to Giuliani – ironically the target of the most high-profile stunt by Borat.
However the film crew which recorded the interview did not come with Rion, and is believed to be associated with the interview subject and actress.
At the White House, Bakalova asks Rion: ‘Why is all of the fake journalists for the left, and none on the right?’
The scenes at the White House got cut and didn’t make it into the movie, titled ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.’
The clip then shows Bakalova in character with dark hair attending an event with President Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle.
She is shown clapping wildly while the president speaks. The event appears to be a reception for supporters before a rally in Phoenix’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum on February 19.
On stage, Trump is flanked by his son and Guilfoyle, who addressed the rally he held that evening.
In a different cut, she shakes hands with the president’s eldest son and proclaims herself ‘a little bit nervous’.
The footage with Don Jr. appears to have come during a Turning Point USA event during the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February.
‘I’m a little bit nervous but I’m very excited to meet you,’ she tells Don Jr.
‘I appreciate it. Good to meet you,’ he replies.
At the same conference, Sacha Baron Cohen, playing Borat but dressed up as President Donald Trump, ran into the hall where Vice President Mike Pence was speaking carrying Bakalova.
‘Michael Pennis! I brought a girl for you!’ Cohen yelled.
This scene made the movie, while the footage from the promo released Friday with Rion did not
It was the second time the movie ripped through U.S. politics, after the release of footage showing Borat’s ‘daughter’ in a hotel room with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
In one scene, Giuliani falls back on a bed after she removes his microphone after getting pranked into an interview. He briefly puts his hands in his pants, but the former New York mayor said he was simply tucking in his shirt after it got messed up when the microphone was being removed.
First family encounter: Her greeting with the president’s son happened at a Turning Point USA event that was part of the Conservative Political Action Conference, where Cohen dressed as Trump and crashed a Mike Pence speech
A DailyMail.com reporter spotted the unusual encounter at the White House on September 16, with ‘Borat’s daughter’ talking to Chanel Rion, the controversial OAN correspondent. The Borat twitter account labeled it September 20 ‘Year of Hawk 435’
Walk and talk: In the course of her time at the White House, accompanied by a camera and sound crew, Maria Bakalova, posing as Borat’s daughter, also walked outside the north doors of the Palm Room, which leads to the Rose Garden
The actress was trailed by two cameras during the interview at the White House on September 16, which didn’t make it into the final film
She visited the White House on a day Trump displayed charts intended to show a drop in spread of the coronavirus. Dr. Scott Atlas also was there
Baron Cohen hit back at Giuliani’s claims that the Borat honey trap video is a ‘complete fabrication’, saying Friday ‘heaven knows what he has done with other female journalists in hotel rooms’ – as scenes from the full film show the president’s 76-year-old attorney patting a young woman on her hip.
After a snippet of the scene emerged earlier this week, Giuliani said he was only tucking in his shirt after removing his recording equipment and insisted that he was never ‘inappropriate’.
In an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, Baron Cohen was asked to respond after Giuliani accused him of being a ‘stone-cold liar’.
‘I would say that if the president’s lawyer found what he did there appropriate behavior, then heaven knows what he has done with other female journalists in hotel rooms,’ Baron Cohen said.
‘I urge everyone to watch the movie. It is what it is, he did what he did. Make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us.’
His comments came as the full controversial scene emerged on Friday following the release of the film, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, on Amazon Prime.
The scene, which was shot back in July in the Mark Hotel, shows Giuliani sitting down with Bakalova for an interview about the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response.
During the scene, Giuliani answered several questions about coronavirus, including how many lives he thought Trump had saved due to his handling of the pandemic.
In the interview scene, the woman was flirtatious with Giuliani and could be seen repeatedly touching his knee.
She also told him he was ‘one of her greatest heroes’ and that she felt like she was in a fairy tale. At one point, she said she felt like she was Melania Trump.
After being interrupted by Baron Cohen’s Borat character, who was disguised as a sound technician, the scene cuts to Giuliani following the woman into the hotel bedroom as she asks: ‘Should we have a drink in the bedroom’.
The 30-second scene in the bedroom cuts repeatedly to different frames from the various hidden cameras. It is not clear how much of it has been edited together to portray a specific story line.
It shows Giuliani asking for her phone number and address. That audio is played over a shot in which the woman can be seen removing his microphone and he pats her lower back.
He can then be seen lying back on the bed to tuck in his shirt after she helps remove his recording equipment.
He has his hands in his pants when Baron Cohen’s character rushes in for a second time wearing an outlandish outfit.
In one part, Giuliani can be heard asking for the woman’s phone number and address. That audio is played over a shot in which the woman can be seen removing his microphone and he pats her lower back
The scene from Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat sequel film that was released in full on Friday, shows Rudy Giuliani in a compromising position in a New York City hotel room alongside a young woman posing as a conservative TV reporter
Baron Cohen on Friday hit out at Rudy Giuliani’s claims that the Borat honey trap video is a ‘complete fabrication’, saying ‘heaven knows what he has done with other female journalists in hotel rooms’
In the scene, President Trump’s personal attorney is seen lying on the bed, tucking in his shirt with his hand down his pants as the woman stands nearby
Discussing the scene during the GMA interview on Friday, Baron Cohen said he was in a hideaway in the hotel room and keeping tabs on what was happening.
‘I was quite concerned for her during the scene,’ Baron Cohen said.
After a snippet of the scene emerged earlier this week, Giuliani said he was only tucking in his shirt after removing his recording equipment and insisted that he was never ‘inappropriate’
‘We built a hideaway that I was hiding in during the scene. I was monitoring it by text. It’s my responsibility as a producer to ensure the lead actor is looked after.’
Bakalova, who joined Baron Cohen for the interview, said she felt safe the entire time.
After a clip of the scene emerged this week prior to the film being released, Giuliani declared that it was a ‘hit job’ and a ‘total fabrication’.
‘The Borat video is a complete fabrication,’ he tweeted.
‘I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.
‘This is an effort to blunt my relentless exposure of the criminality and depravity of Joe Biden and his entire family.’
Speaking on his weekly radio program on WABC on Wednesday, Giuliani doubled down that he was only tucking in his shirt.
‘I am tucking my shirt in, I assure you, that’s all that I was doing,’ he said.
Giuliani said he went to what he thought was an interview and said it felt ‘legitimate.’
‘I did the interview with the young woman who was new to interviewing and I was being kind to her,’ he said. ‘At one point she explained to me some problems I had, I actually prayed with her.’
When he got up to leave he said he had his jacket on.
‘I was fully clothed at all times and I had to take off the electronic equipment and when the electronic equipment came off, some of it was in the back and my shirt got a little out, came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on,’ he said.
He said he realized that something was amiss when the woman asked if he’d like a massage.
‘She says something about, ‘Do I want a massage?’ I realize now that this is a set-up and I call my security guy Brian who’s right outside,’ Giuliani said.
‘And then all of the sudden crazy Sacha Baron Cohen runs in with a cape on and he’s yelling and screaming all sorts of stupid stuff.’
The former New York City mayor called police after the encounter but there is no indication an investigation was launched.
Giuliani spoke to the New York Post’s Page Six column about the encounter back in July but did not mention the bedroom aspect.
He has since argued that in calling the police he proved he was an innocent party.
‘If I was doing anything wrong, I would not call the police and if he was doing anything right, he wouldn’t have been running away,’ Giuliani said.
Borat review: Crass, vulgar… but if you love the first movie you’ll be smitten, writes BRIAN VINER who gives it four stars
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is not the only person entitled to watch Borat 2 through his fingers. For the rest of us, too, that is at times the only proper response to a comedy that doesn’t so much push at the boundaries of taste as bulldoze them over the edge of a cliff.
The set-up is the same as the 2006 mockumentary which first introduced Sacha Baron Cohen’s fictional Kazakh journalist to an unsuspecting world.
Baron Cohen’s Borat, accompanied this time by his teenage daughter Tutar (credited as Maria Bakalova), travels through America hoodwinking real people into thinking he is the genuine article.
Since the events of 2006, he has spent years breaking rocks in the gulag for bringing shame on his country by making it a global laughing stock.
But now he has been given a mission – and with it, a chance to rescue his reputation. Again and again, he convinces folk that he really has brought Tutar along as a gift for ‘Vice-Premier Mikhail Pence’, the second-in-command to the magnificent ‘Premier McDonald Trump’, as a way of redeeming his distant homeland in the eyes of the ‘US and A’.
Baron Cohen once more violates the unwritten rules of screen comedy
Vice President Mike Pence didn’t know it at the time, but when he delivered his speech at CPAC earlier this year, he was actually taking part in a secret sequel to Borat (pictured)
The results – including a scene in which, dressed as Trump, he interrupts Pence’s address to a Republican rally – are by turn riotously funny and almost unwatchably uncomfortable.
There is another scene in which Borat and Tutar attend a debutante ball in the city of Macon, in the southern state of Georgia.
She is solemnly presented as an undergraduate at ‘Grand Canyon University’, studying ‘cage maintenance and electronics with a focus on VCR repairs’.
Just as you’re marvelling at their XX-sized gullibility and processing the sheer improbability of proud fathers and their southern belle daughters, dressed to the nines, going through this absurd social rigmarole in the 21st century, just as the laughter is again bubbling up in your throat at the spectacle of the Kazakh duo taking to the floor to perform their fertility dance, it coagulates into something else entirely.
Baron Cohen once more violates the unwritten rules of screen comedy. Is it outrage? Horror? Disgust? Suppressed hysteria? You will have to decide for yourself.
In a way, that is Baron Cohen’s genius. Once again, he has masterminded a film (though it is directed by Jason Woliner) that is beyond anyone else’s ability or daring.
He makes patsies of everyone he and Tutar encounter, nobody more so than Giuliani, the 76-year-old former mayor of New York City, who grants this engaging foreign girl an interview in a hotel suite – then ends up in a situation that, unless there is some cinematic sleight of hand involved, looks horribly compromising.
Borat and Tutar attend a debutante ball in the city of Macon, in the southern state of Georgia
I’ve already watched it twice, and I’m still not quite sure what I saw. Either way, 24-year-old Bulgarian actress Bakalova is terrifically good – on occasion even upstaging Baron Cohen himself.
Just like the original, Borat 2 is audaciously brilliant in that it starts off looking like a mickey-take of a backward, former Soviet republic, when really the only object of the mockery is America.
In particular, this film sets out to catch the more diehard Trump supporters and far-Right conspiracy theorists, scooping up more than a few others in its satirical net, such as a cosmetic surgeon quite happy to inflate the breasts of 15-year-old Tutar, who wants only to be the next ‘Queen Melania’.
Most of them unwittingly conspire in their own ridicule, though there are times – as with a kindly Holocaust survivor in a synagogue – when your heart goes out to them. Not everyone deserves to be one of Borat’s victims.
Similarly, not everyone will want to see this film. If the TV show Game For A Laugh made you wince, it’s definitely not for you.
Ditto, if you think everyone should be permitted their convictions and ways of life without being played as fools by a subversive Englishman with a candid camera and a political agenda.
All the same, there were moments when it made me laugh more than any film has for ages, possibly since the original Borat.
And three cheers, too, for its topicality. MeToo sensibilities are cheekily addressed, as Tutar begins to find that the suppression of women in her own country – where it is ‘enshrined in law’ that men must not love their daughters as much as their sons – is not the case everywhere.
And there is an inspired twist involving the Covid-19 pandemic.
But maybe I’ve already given too much away. If you loved the original Borat, then you will be smitten again. This one is even better.
If you thought it crass, vulgar and unutterably puerile, well – this one is a fair bit worse.
Borat 2 is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Maria Bakalova, who graduated from film school last year, has skyrocketed to international fame after it was revealed last night she honeytrapped Donald Trump’s senior lieutenant and former mayor of New York Giuliani in the new Borat movie