Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and adviser Rudy Giuliani has hit back after being caught in a humiliating scene in an upcoming Sacha Baron Cohen movie.
Mr Giuliani – the former mayor of New York City – shown lying on a hotel room bed with his hand down his pants after flirting with the actor journalist in Cohen’s Borat sequel.
A furious Mr Giuliani has labelled the scene a “total fabrication” when it emerged on Wednesday (US time).
In the clip, the 76-year-old Mr Giuliani is seen being interviewed by Borat’s teenage daughter, Tutar (played by Bulgarian actor Maria Bakalova), who is posing as a reporter.
After they talk, she invites him for a drink in her hotel bedroom. As he sits down on the bed, he says, “You can give me your phone number and your address”, while patting her on the back.
Bakalova then tries to remove Mr Giuliani’s microphone, before he lies down on his back on the bed, and appears to put his hand down his pants.
The scene was shot in a New York hotel room in July, and reportedly resulted in Mr Giuliani calling police.
On Wednesday, he said the footage could have been “added, doctored manipulated or whatever”. But he claimed he was only tucking in his shirt after taking off the electronic equipment.
“I assure you that is all I was doing,” he said.
“I get up and she says about, do I want a massage? I realise then that this is a set-up.”
Mr Giuliani said he called for his security and “all of the sudden crazy Sasha Baron Cohen comes in with a cape on and he’s saying all kinds of stupid stuff, and I very calmly say, ‘Brian, call the police’ “.
On Wednesday, when the scene was released less than a fortnight before the US presidential election, Mr Giuliani called it a “hit job” and said it was revenge for a Republican attack on Democrat candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
“At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate,” he tweeted.
“If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.”
The FBI is investigating claims about a laptop said to belong to the younger Mr Biden that apparently contained emails revealing foreign business deals. Mr Giuliani, who has claimed it was given to him, handed the laptop to police on Wednesday.
“The idiot Borat is going after me with a totally sensationalised, false account of a ridiculous movie I guess that he has done,” he told WABC radio.
“Let me tell you why I know this is a hit job that happens because … it is not an accident that it happens when I turn in all this evidence on their prince and darling Joe Biden, who is one of the biggest crooks of the last 30 years.”
The Borat sequel is reportedly titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. It has been filmed in secret but there have been numerous sightings of Cohen across the US in character, including when he crashed a right-wing, pro-gun rally with a crowd of more than 500 in July.
US media is reporting the new film will stream on Amazon Prime from Friday (local time).