Published Dec 24, 2018Sacha Baron Cohen courted a hell of a lot of controversy with his excellent series Who Is America?, but one interview turned so dark that he handed it straight over to the FBI.
Speaking with Deadline, Cohen described the interview that was "so extreme and so dark" that he couldn't air it.
"We were shooting some of this at the time of Harvey Weinstein," Cohen said. "We wanted to investigate how does someone like Harvey Weinstein get away with doing what…get away with criminality, essentially. And the network that surrounds him. We decided [we] would interview a concierge in Las Vegas."
In character as the wealthy playboy Gio Monaldo, Cohen told the concierge that he had once molested an eight-year-old boy.
"This is extreme comedy and we thought that the guy would leave the room," Cohen said. "Instead, this concierge stays in the room and I go, listen, you've got to help me get rid of the problem. And this guy starts advising Gio how to get rid of this issue. We even at one point talk about murdering the boy, and the concierge is just saying, 'Well, listen, I'm really sorry. In this country, we can't just drown the boy. This is America we don't do that.' And then, in the end, he puts me in touch with a lawyer who can silence the boy. It became really dark stuff."
Pushing the envelope further, Cohen (still in character as Gio) asked the concierge to help him find a young boy for a date. He requested someone "lower than Bar Mitzvah but older than eight."
"He says, 'Yeah, I can put you in touch with somebody who can get you some boys like that,'" Cohen recalled.
"We immediately turned over the footage to the FBI because we thought, perhaps there's a pedophile ring in Las Vegas that's operating for these very wealthy men," he concluded. "And this concierge had said that he'd worked for politicians and various billionaires. But in the end the FBI decided not to pursue it."