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The True Story Behind Scoop and What the Netflix Movie Leaves Out


The True Story Behind Scoop and What the Netflix Movie Leaves Out


Summary

  • Scoop delves into Prince Andrew’s infamous BBC interview with Epstein ties but misses key details for a concise, dramatic flair.
  • Some crucial aspects of Prince Andrew’s real interview on BBC, including Epstein’s death, are snubbed in the Netflix Original movie Scoop.
  • The Netflix film captures intimate details from the real interview, showcasing Prince Andrew’s struggles with allegations and the fallout from the scandal.



Released on April 5, 2024, Scoop is a Netflix Original immediately charting among the 10 most-watched movies in the U.S. and U.K. Directed by Philip Martin, the biographical drama recreates the infamous 2019 BBC interview of Prince Andrew (Rufus Sewell), in which the Duke of York is interrogated about his ties to disgraced billionaire and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein (Colin Wells). In addition to clearing security, landing the sensitive scoop, and organizing the live on-air Newsnight interview, the movie ends with Prince Andrew’s renouncement of his royal obligations.


Yet, at 103 minutes, Scoop inevitably glosses over parts of the real 49-minute interview and aspects of the movie’s biographical source book, Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews by Samantha McAlister. To help clarify, it’s worth comparing the real interview conducted by BBC’s Emily Maitlis (played by Gillian Anderson) to the dramatized account featured in Scoop, while also providing a larger picture of Prince Andrew’s ties to Epstein.

Scoop

Scoop (2024)

2/5

Release Date
April 5, 2024

Director
Philip Martin

Runtime
102 Minutes

Writers
Geoff Bussetil , Peter Moffat


What is Scoop About?


Based on the 2022 biographical book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews by Sam McAlister, Scoop retells the notorious 2019 TV interview between BBC Newsnight reporter Emily Maitlis and Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. While the real interview lasted 49 minutes, it’s only 10 minutes long in the movie and omits many crucial aspects. Instead, much of the drama entails the dogged efforts by BBC journalist Samantha McAlister (Billie Piper) and on-air interviewer Emily Maitlis to secure a highly sensitive interview with a royal.

The movie begins in 2010 when Prince Andrew is photographed walking with Jeffrey Epstein in New York’s Central Park. Epstein, who had already been tied to illicit activity involving underage girls in 2005, was a registered level-three sex offender in New York in 2010. The movie jumps nine years ahead to 2019, where McAlister finds the photo of Prince Andrew and Epstein in Central Park. McAlister contacts the Prince’s press secretary, Amanda Thirsk (Keeley Hawes), and learns that the photo has led to a PR cover-up. Prince Andrew claims he has severed ties with Epstein and Amanda organizes several puff-piece interviews with the Prince to restore his reputation.


From here, Scoop mostly follows the efforts to conduct the interview, including office politics and editorial push-back over the sensationalized story. In July 2019, Epstein was arrested on child sex trafficking charges and put in jail. On August 10, 2019, Epstein was found dead in his cell and his death was declared a suicide via hanging. In the controversial Netflix original film, Sam and Amanda get Buckingham Palace to agree to interview Prince Andrew after Epstein’s death as rumors about their untoward friendship heat up. Drastically truncated in the movie, the interview is where the movie omits several facts.

What Scoop Leaves Out From the Real Prince Andrew Interview

Prince Andrew wears a blue suit in Scoop
Netflix


Reduced from 49 minutes in reality to a 10-minute reenacted interview, Emily Maitlis questions Prince Andrew about his alleged sexual abuse of an underage girl trafficked by Epstein in Scoop. Maitlis also challenges Prince Andrew about his longstanding relationship with Epstein and his ties to Epstein’s long-term girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. However, several crucial instances from the real interview are missing from the movie version.

During the real interview, Maitlis indicts Prince Andrew by declaring that Epstein “Was brought right into the heart of the royal family at your invitation.” Prince Andrew accepts sole responsibility for the invitation and absolves the royal family of guilt. Later in the interview, Maitlis states:

“You’ve faced questions today on a very, very raw subject. There has never been an interview like this before. I wonder what that tells us about the way the royal family now confronts these difficult situations. Has there been a sea change?”


2:00

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These pressing questions are omitted from Scoop, likely to concentrate on Andrew’s guilt rather than the reputational hit the royal family takes. The movie also leaves out questions surrounding Epstein’s mysterious death. In the real interview, Maitlis entertains the notion that Epstein did not commit suicide and that he may have been deliberately murdered. Prince Andrew agrees with the coroner and does not express the belief that Epstein killed himself.

Maitlis also wonders if Epstein was the one who hired the NYC photographer who captured evidence of Prince Andrew walking with him in Central Park in 2010. Although Prince Andrew denied that Epstein would do such a thing, this explosive question is also left out of Scoop.


During the real BBC interview, Prince Andrew didn’t do himself any reputational favors. One of the most bizarre moments in the interview comes after Maitlis asks Prince Andrew if he had been sexually involved with underage girls trafficked by Epstein. Prince Andrew responded with the following:

“If you’re a man, it is a positive act to have sex with somebody. You have to take some positive action, so therefore if you try to forget it’s very difficult to try to forget positive action and I do not remember anything.”

Despite the reputational harm such a statement elicited in real life, this portion of the interview is also left out of Scoop. Fortunately, integral parts of the real interview were retained in the film, although they don’t make Prince Andrew look any better than the parts that have been left out.

Facts Retained in Scoop From the Real BBC Interview

Prince Andrew watches his interview in Scoop
Netflix


While many embarrassing parts of the BBC interview have been omitted from the Netflix historical drama, a few aspects have been left in Scoop. The main topic pertains to a young woman named Virginia Giuffre, an underage girl trafficked by Epstein, who accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she was 17 after buying her drinks at Tramp Nightclub in London in 2001.

When asked about the accusations in real life and the movie, Prince Andrew claimed he couldn’t possibly have bought Virginia alcohol because he does not drink liquor and has no idea where the bar is located inside the Tramp nightclub. He also claims to have an alibi for eating pizza with his daughters at the time of the alleged crime.

More curious yet, Scoop depicts Giuffre’s testimony regarding Prince Andrew’s excessive perspiration on the dancefloor of Tramp nightclub. Giuffre recalls Prince Andrew pouring sweat while dancing together. When asked about this on camera, Prince Andrew stated that he does not perspire due to being shot at during the Falklands War and the resulting “overdose of adrenaline” he experienced. Medical experts refuted Andrew’s ridiculous no-sweat claim following the interview.


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Perhaps most stunning of all, the Netflix Original movie portrays the portion of the interview where Prince Andrew addresses the damning photograph of him dawdling with Epstein in Central Park. When asked about the encounter, Prince Andrew claimed he traveled to New York to tell Epstein in person that their friendship needed to end. The park stroll took place shortly after Epstein’s 2008 guilty plea for obtaining an underage sex worker. Despite allegedly ending their friendship, Prince Andrew stayed with Epstein in his New York mansion, attended a lavish dinner party, and remained in New York well after the photo was taken.


In Scoop, Prince Andrew eagerly enters the interview with an upbeat attitude. Following the damning interview, Scoop ends with Prince Andrew watching himself on TV in a state of shock as it dawns on him what lies ahead. Soon after, Andrew steps down as Prince and abdicates his royal duties. Despite maintaining his innocence publicly, Andrew settled out of court in 2022 for £12 million over the Virginia Giuffre case, who filed a civil lawsuit alleging sexual assault.

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