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Scoop (2024) | Transcript

How the BBC obtained the bombshell interview with Prince Andrew about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Scoop (2024) Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew

The film is a behind-the-scenes story of the women who negotiated with the Buckingham Palace establishment to secure the “scoop of the decade” that was the public catalyst for the downfall of Prince Andrew, in a televised interview which focused on Andrew’s relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and allegations of Andrew’s sexual assault of a minor which Andrew denies and in early 2022 settled out of court for a £12 million settlement. The interview was later described as less a car crash than “a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion.”

* * *

[disorienting music builds slowly]

[cell phone vibrating]

[music trails off]

[man grunts]

[vibrating stops]

[groans] Oh, it’s Friday night.

[woman on phone] It’s Saturday morning, honey.

Mm?

[grunting softly]

[breathes deeply]

Is it him?

[disjointed music plays]

[traffic noises overlap]

[trunk opens]

[siren wailing in distance]

News desk in London says he flew in from Heathrow last night.

My guy at the British consulate said he’s not staying there, so…

[Jae] Those two on the door, they’re Epstein’s.

Those three guys,

I’ve seen them before.

Royal protection officers. If they’re here…

Jae, the door.

[woman gasps] Guards.

[Jae] It’s like she wasn’t even there.

[camera clicks]

She must have been coming for years.

[woman] Christ.

She can’t be more than 20 now.

Yeah.

[unsettling music builds]

[music trails off]

[faint indistinct chatter]

Here we go.

[camera clicking]

It’s Epstein.

[woman] That’s him. That’s Andrew.

[Jae] Come on, turn around.

What?

[woman groans]

[sighs]

[grunts]

Go, go, go!

[tense music playing]

[clears throat]

[ambient bustling]

What a lovely day.

Oh, here we are.

Okay.

[camera clicking]

[sighs]

Uh… okay. Okay.

This isn’t gonna work.

[woman] What isn’t?

Change of plan.

[music intensifies]

[woman] Jae, talk to me.

I’m improvising.

Bear with me.

Oh God.

[breathing heavily]

Jae?

Not now.

[music settles]

[camera clicking]

[rapid camera clicks]

[gasping]

[disjointed music builds]

Jae, are you there?

[exhales, sighs]

I’m here. [panting]

[“Don’t Rain on my Parade” by Barbara Streisand playing]

♪ I gotta fly once ♪

♪ I gotta try once ♪

♪ Only can die once ♪

♪ Right, sir? ♪

♪ Ooh, life is juicy ♪

♪ Juicy, and you see ♪

♪ I gotta have my bite, sir ♪

♪ Don’t tell me not to fly I simply got to ♪

♪ If someone takes a spill, it’s me… ♪

[woman] Welcome, everybody.

I want to thank you all for taking the time out of your lunch.

All of us at the BBC face some incredible challenges.

♪ Life’s candy And the sun’s a ball of butter… ♪

Morning, George.

♪ Who told you You’re allowed to rain on my parade? ♪

The world is changing.

We need to change with it.

Every year the BBC faces more and more competition in the news space,

and we must fight to remain relevant.

♪ Eye on the target, and wham! ♪

♪ One shot, one gunshot… ♪

Has someone got my Nando’s?

Oh, yeah.

♪ Hey, world ♪

Bloody dog!

♪ Here I am ♪

♪ I’ll march my band out ♪

♪ I’ll beat my drum ♪

Have we still got jobs, then?

[men chuckling]

Moody, stop begging! Come on.

Come here. Moody!

[newswoman] Never in my career

have I felt BBC News is under as much threat as it is today.

It is our duty to respond.

So it is with great sadness

that I have to announce… some job losses.

We currently estimate these job cuts

to be in the region of 450.

Here we go. Here we fucking go.

I know it is an enormous number.

How to improve your news-gathering.

Sack all the journalists.

[elevator dings]

These cuts will be across all news departments.

And across all shows.

Thank you very much.

Okay. Uh, focus.

[song ends]

We’ve heard what she had to say, and unless I missed it,

she didn’t say anything about not doing our show.

Well, that was bleak.

Manage to catch it? Did you?

Nine hours and 13 minutes from now,

we’re on air. With what?

[woman] Follow-up on British arms sold to the Saudis being used in Yemen.

Yeah, we’ve covered that. What’s the hook? Why today?

[man] Brexit. Fifteen rounds with Farage. One-on-one with Emily.

What would be our way in with Farage? Something new.

[man] Frictionless borders.

Gets my juices going every time.

I can get us Lupita for tonight.

The actress? Has she got a film out?

No. She wants to talk colorism. She’s got a lot to say.

She’s great. It’s an exclusive. I think we should open with it.

Perfect for the second half. Can’t open with her.

Agreed. They don’t decide our running order.

We opened with Emma Thompson on Weinstein. They saw that. That’s why they want us.

Weinstein was a news story that day.

Lupita may well be great, but it isn’t news.

Second half.

So, Farage? Sam? Can you book him?

If you want Farage, Freddy, then it’s simple.

You call up his PR. It’s really not rocket science.

He’ll be straight over.

[Freddy] That’s your job. You’re our booker.

And you do know we’ve just announced a few hundred redundancies.

Uh, okay, let’s, uh…

The way I keep my job… Freddy, is by booking the people we can’t just call up.

The ones other people can’t just get.

The job where you waltz in late, then spend the morning

working out where to go for lunch with Piers Morgan?

Last in, first out.

You were here at 6:00. On the pips. Yeah?

What?

You know what that does? That puts us 16 hours behind the news cycle,

while I go out and find stories people actually care about.

[pensive music plays]

No, we love Lupita, and we desperately want her.

We’d like to close with her and go huge on socials.

You know, that’s where this really cuts through.

Okay, that’s great.

Great!

Thanks, you’re a superstar. Okay, bye.

[clears throat]

[applause]

[clears throat]

It’s not about me.

[light scattered laughter]

This is about

putting you wonderful young entrepreneurs

together with you

eh… slightly more mature investors.

[light laughter]

So that together with Pitch@Palace,

we can make magic happen.

Now, I know you’re all desperate to get talking to them,

and they’re desperate to listen to your ideas

and make them into a reality.

So the best thing for me to do is to get out of the way

and let you crack on.

Before I do…

[light laughter]

Don’t tell my mum.

[laughter]

[guests clapping]

Maybe for the best no one came.

[Andrew] Ah, there we are.

All right, now say Pitch@Palace.

[all] Pitch@Palace!

Pitch@Palace!

Uh… I’d like it to be fair.

I mean, you don’t mention Epstein

every time there’s a story about Bill Clinton, do you?

[man] Bill Clinton isn’t the Queen’s favorite son.

[sighs] And if you had been here, then you would have seen for yourself

the… the wonderful job that… that he does with Pitch,

encouraging young entrepreneurs.

How young? These entrepreneurs? How young is young?

Piss off, Nick.

How do they get away with this?

That is why we have hired Jason. To manage this.

Time.

It takes time.

Time? That photograph is nine years old.

Sir, just…

No.

No quick fix to a story like this.

So you people keep telling me.

[Jason] And you are 100% right,

Your Royal Highness.

About what?

You’ve been dealing with this Epstein mess for nearly a decade.

You haven’t seen him in that time, correct?

Uh… No. No, um…

No, absolutely. It was, um…

Uh… December 2010.

Then my instinct is… you haven’t had the right strategy.

Epstein, and the whole… Playboy Prince thing,

should have been put to bed a long time ago.

And I can make it go away.

But you have to let me control it.

Amanda?

Well, uh, Jason knows the press.

That’s why we hired him.

Uh…

I think he can help us.

I’ve, uh, put together a list of friendly journalists.

That’s a… contradiction in terms, innit?

Invite them here, one by one, for tea.

They feel special.

You get to know each other, all off the record,

and slowly they realize you’re a decent human being,

who is, by the way,

prepared to acknowledge errors of judgment.

[grunts]

Slowly.

It’s always slowly. Always time.

I’m 60 next year.

And my mother, well…

none of us are getting any younger.

Jason’s list of journalists.

[inhales deeply]

Mm…

What?

[sighs] Well, this…

This list. This… strategy.

We’ve been down this road before.

[“Don’t Rain On My Parade” plays as ringtone]

Hello?

[Amanda] Hello, Sam.

It’s Amanda Thirsk from the Duke of York’s office.

Hi.

But we don’t do red lines.

No questions off the table.

Maybe just think on it.

I’ll get back to you.

Great. Speak soon.

[woman] Anything good?

Not sure. The Palace.

Right, what have we got?

You know what I think?

For intelligent analysis, we’re the only place in town.

Brexit again.

Sam, didn’t you have something? The Palace?

Uh, not for tonight. But we have Lupita.

Great. Which bit of the Palace?

Prince Andrew’s private secretary.

Okay, what do they want?

Pitch@Palace. It’s like The Apprentice,

only you get Prince Andrew instead of Donald Trump.

It’s not on television…

Not Newsnight, is it?

Do you know Andrew’s PS?

No.

Did she reach out to you first?

[Sam] Yeah.

Yeah.

Okay, everyone, keep looking, and let’s talk again in an hour.

[pensive music plays]

[Sam] I need a connect.

Uh, Jae Donnelly. A pap. Based in New York. Do you know him?

Great.

God… For Christ’s sake.

Farage isn’t available. We need somebody else.

Maybe even he’s bored with it by now. Give me a minute.

Who’s on the phone?

Photographer.

Working for who? Paparazzi?

All your favorites, Freddy. The Sun. The Mail.

For Christ’s sake.

[Sam] You know what? If we had half the instincts

and a quarter of the contacts for the average tabloid pap,

maybe we wouldn’t be scrabbling around

for new ways to have the same argument every night.

So just, you know, leave it with me, yeah?

Coming right up.

Someone… Someone for Emily to really tell off.

All the dinner parties in North London…

Sam.

…say, “Did you see Newsnight last night?

Sam.

“Wasn’t it amazing how Emily Maitlis said all the great things we all agree with?”

We’re mistaking talking to ourselves for news, Freddy, and it’s killing us.

[inhales deeply]

Stewart.

Mm?

I’m heading down to the studio.

[pensive music plays]

Come! Moody!

[dog whimpers]

I behave like that… insulting people in front of the entire office,

I mean, am I still here? Do I still have a job?

We have an issue

with Sam.

We? Who’s we?

[scoffs] Well, I do,

Freddy, and now possibly Emily.

I’m not a snob, but she’s very Daily Mail.

I’m not saying we can’t cope with different opinions,

but she is…

she’s too defensive.

[woman] Put the lights up a touch.

It’s too cold.

I didn’t say “turn back down.”

[tech] Sure, but this is the correct set level for broadcast.

I’m aware of that. Back up.

Thanks for coming, Sam.

That level but warmer.

[tech] All right, okay.

I’ll just have to switch some things around.

You understand the pressure we’re under?

All of us. I’ve got enough fights on my hands

without having them in my own team.

Maybe you should speak with…

I am speaking to them, and I’m saying to them the same thing I’m saying to you.

Help me out.

What about something like that?

Warmer, much warmer.

I’m trying to make changes. I want a broader audience.

That’s how we survive. I’ve no interest in echo chambers.

I want different voices. I want tension.

And passion.

Look, Emily, I’m sorry.

No, you’re not.

You meant every word.

Not every word.

Don’t think I don’t know what people think about me.

The point is, if we’re at each other’s throats,

then none of this is going to work.

[tech] So what are we saying?

No, warmer.

Okay, stop there.

I like it.

[tech] Great.

Okay, understood. Anything else?

I…

[Emily] Three women and a whippet.

You wouldn’t have seen that in a BBC studio when I started.

[woman laughs]

[girl] Oh my God, n…

Oh my God, that is…

No, no, no, no, no!

No, no, no, no!

[exclaiming]

I told you!

[overlapping excited chatter]

[musical ringtone playing]

Oh.

Sorry about the noise. I’m working. I might have to go without saying goodbye.

Thanks for calling me back. Anything good?

A Kardashian launching a new pair of knickers.

Gotta pay the bills.

[chuckles]

All right, check your messages.

Some photos of girls I’ve taken over the years at Epstein’s.

They are in there about an hour each.

They look very young.

[girls laughing]

[Jae] They come from an apartment block on 66th Street

owned by Epstein’s brother, rented by Jeffrey.

It’s a warehouse of girls.

He calls them his “nubiles.”

[scoffs]

This is still happening?

It’s industrial, Sam.

I’ve been in New York for years.

All I have to do is spend 24 hours outside of that place,

and you see them come and go.

How do we not know about this?

Because it’s young girls no one cares about

going in and out of a house.

And he’s rich.

You know, he went to jail. Now he’s out. Frankly, hardly anyone gives a shit.

And Andrew, is he in there often?

Oh, back in the day, sure.

Any proof?

Of Andrew actually at Epstein’s?

Other than the park picture?

Uh… no.

No, they’re careful.

But I can promise you he was there.

You know about Ghislaine Maxwell, right?

[clamoring]

Andrew’s friend?

No.

Well, you should. I’ve gotta go. Ghislaine. Look her up. I’ll be in touch.

Thanks.

[girl 1] Guys.

[girl 2] What?

[girl 1] Look at this.

[girl 3] Let me see.

[all exclaiming]

[pensive music fades slowly]

[woman] Sam. Leave him a minute.

[mouthing]

A what?

[softly] Writing a poem.

Lucas?

[horns honking]

[woman speaking indistinctly on TV]

So who is she?

I’m not in her class.

Listen, I… I know I’m your mum, and I’m biased and everything,

but you’re very handsome, so you shouldn’t…

No. Oh my. I mean my actual class.

She’s in the year above.

Oh.

Well, I like your ambition. [laughs]

[man] Chili sauce, yeah? The usual?

Yes, please.

You want a tip? How to talk to girls?

Do I have a choice?

Not really, no.

You listen. Most people want to talk.

But most people are terrible at listening.

Mm.

[news jingle playing]

But you promised the British people there wouldn’t be an issue.

And at the time, I followed that through…

Were you wrong at the time?

I don’t accept that.

Well, you were either wrong or making a promise you couldn’t keep.

Which is it?

You described yourself as a man of principle.

You also guaranteed voters that border checks between the UK and EU

would be unaffected by Brex…

[TV mutes]

[pensive music playing]

[Jae] Hi, this is Jae Donnelly. Leave a message.

Hi, Jae. It’s Sam.

Uh… this photo of… Andrew

with Ghislaine Maxwell in London

and a girl, 17 at the time…

Uh, 2001. Virginia Roberts. Do you know anything about it?

Um… Give me a call when you get this. Thanks.

[phone buzzes]

[alert whooshes]

Bloody hell.

[woman] I want a selfie.

[chuckles] Okay. Okay.

And a spoon.

[chuckles]

Okay, bye.

[driver] Don’t tell me.

What?

Is it Phil the Greek?

Jugface?

I can’t say.

It can’t be Her Majesty. Her flag’s not up.

Well, just as long as it’s not that Randy fucking Andy.

[chuckles]

Here we go.

[pensive music playing]

Whew!

Thanks.

[sighs]

Hello. Morning.

Morning.

Yeah.

Okay.

Thank you.

Follow the path. They’ll let you in at the top.

Okay, great. Thanks.

[pensive music builds slowly]

[man] Good afternoon.

[Amanda] Earl Grey or chamomile?

[chuckles, sighs]

[Amanda] We lose a fair few.

Teaspoons.

[both chuckle]

They just seem to

go.

It’s seen as a good thing.

It means everybody wants a part of us.

Us?

[inhales] Well, I’ve been here for a long time.

It’s like family. The day we don’t need to budget for extra teaspoons…

And… would he be prepared to talk about that?

The theft of teaspoons from Buckingham Palace?

The future of the monarchy. What it will mean when the Queen dies.

[quietly] We don’t talk about that.

Too painful? For a favorite son?

[inhales sharply, exhales]

One thing about Her Majesty,

she is a very good judge of character.

Mm.

So… what’s she like?

Who?

Emily.

Oh, well, she runs… [chuckles]

She swims, she interviews.

Nobody’s ever seen her eat. She’s Superwoman.

And the Bic.

Harry Potter has his wand.

Emily Maitlis has her Bic.

[Amanda chuckles softly]

And Andrew? How’s his judge of character?

He’s a… a very loyal friend.

Too loyal for his own good sometimes.

Ghislaine Maxwell.

[elevator dings]

She was a good friend, yes.

Mm-hmm.

Straight to the point.

There was some small talk,

but we’re both busy women, and we both know why we’re here, Amanda.

[whispers] Do you want to get a real drink?

[chuckles]

[elevator dings]

[pensive music plays]

Amanda?

Amanda?

Uh… she’s out.

With Sam McAlister.

Who?

What do you think you know about me, Sam?

[inhales deeply]

I know you come from banking.

A single mum.

I know that you’ve been doing this job for seven years,

and you have a problem that won’t go away.

And I know that you’re here

and Jason Stein isn’t.

So?

So maybe it’s you who wants to do things differently.

Or we’re just looking at options.

Or that.

[both laugh]

[phone buzzing]

[Amanda] Oh…

Uh…

Sorry, it’s Andrew. He needs me.

Um, I’m only trying to be honest with you, Amanda.

I always am.

And you know it can’t just be Pitch.

And like I said before, you wouldn’t be here talking to Newsnight

if you didn’t already know that.

[inhales sharply] But I’m not talking to Newsnight, Sam.

I’m talking to you.

And there is a red line.

[melancholy music playing]

Thank you for meeting.

[Andrew] You’ll like this too. This is moments

after I’ve just narrowly been missed by inches by an Exocet missile.

And as soon as it came, I’d…

Out of the way, and I’d come down. I’d do that two times a day.

[woman] Must have been terrifying moments.

Oh, some of the worst.

And some of the best.

Those… Those… Those men,

they… they-they really knew me, you know?

Well, there’s no hiding in war.

From your shipmates. Um…

From yourself.

Do you ever miss it?

What, war?

The Argies were a lot less trouble than your lot.

[laughter]

Come on. Let’s go for it. Let’s do the tour.

[Jason] Newsnight? Newsnight?!

You saw that.

Can’t… Can’t you see how good he is with people?

How they like him when they spend time with him?

That’s the plan, Amanda.

Look, it’s called charm.

Jason, you have to be in the room with it to feel it.

Television?

Look, it was just a meeting.

A meeting you shouldn’t have taken.

Especially without me.

This is my job.

No, not now, Freddy.

Did the liquid lunch go on the BBC tab?

[sighs] I was so close.

Really? Think you have special powers over a big beast like Buckingham Palace Comms?

It was just the two of us. Nobody else.

And we were so close.

To what?

An interview. This Epstein story isn’t going away.

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s girlfriend, is one of Andrew’s oldest friends.

Then they’re not gonna talk to us about it, are they?

Sam, it’s celebrity fluff, not Newsnight.

[Sam] It’s not fluff. It’s exactly what we should be doing.

I’m sorry, but we don’t have time for you to spend

a whole day chasing a story that we’re never gonna get. Not anymore.

We’re meant to be a team. Why do you think you’re so special?

This is the work.

All right? Today was the work because this story is only going to get bigger.

And when it does, we don’t wanna be the first people making the call.

We wanna be the first people they call. And if I…

If I can’t do my job the way it needs to be done,

then I don’t think I can do this anymore.

[energetic music playing]

Oh, Sammy.

[breathes deeply]

[pensive music playing]

[automated voice] Please leave a message after the tone.

Hi, Esme. It’s Sam.

Um…

I was just calling…

Uh, could you…

Could you call me back when you get this? It’s important. Thanks, bye.

You all right?

D’you know, I spend half my time

just absolutely terrified of getting sacked,

and the rest of it wishing they’d get it over with.

Why don’t they see me as one of them?

Maybe there’s somewhere easier.

I don’t want it to be easy, Mum. I just…

[footsteps approaching]

I just want it to matter.

[door shuts]

[inhales] Lucas!

Mmm… Night-night.

Night-night. Night-night. [kisses]

Night, you.

Night.

[kisses]

Hello.

I spoke to her. Freya. That’s her name.

Yeah. And what did she say? What did you say?

Hello.

[chuckles]

What did she say?

Well, I thought maybe she hadn’t heard me. But she did. And…

[musical ringtone playing]

Yeah. Oh, one minute, darling. Wait.

One second. Hang on.

Jae?

How was the Palace?

I couldn’t make it work. Epstein’s a no-go.

Well, not anymore.

What do you mean?

I’m at Teterboro. A private airfield.

Our friend Jeffrey’s plane is due to land in the next hour.

And the FBI are waiting.

Mum! Can you…

[car alarm chirps]

Can you stay one more hour with Lucas? That all right?

Yeah, of course.

I’ll be back before he goes to bed.

[Sam’s mum] Take your time. See you later.

[musical ringtone playing]

Hello?

You called me.

You said it was important.

Jeffrey Epstein is being arrested tonight. Sex trafficking.

Esme? Are you there?

So it’s a news story now.

Right, let’s start pushing the Palace.

Thanks.

[energetic music playing]

Whew!

All right.

[door buzzes]

Everything’s changed.

Any moment now, you are going to get a phone call.

After that, a hundred more.

We have a few hours, at best, before the tsunami hits.

I thought we could use it, both of us.

What has changed?

The FBI are raiding Jeffrey Epstein’s home any moment now.

This red line of yours isn’t going to hold, Amanda.

You can’t go “no comment” on being friends with a pedophile

and expect everyone to love you, whoever you are.

How do I know I can trust you?

You don’t.

And you don’t have to because I can give you an hour.

Yeah? And then it’s up to him. Not you.

Not me. Him.

[exhales]

An hour of television can change everything.

It’s like magic.

[newswoman] US financier Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested today

on federal sex trafficking charges.

The disgraced billionaire has been accused of trafficking dozens of underage girls.

He was previously convicted in 2008

after pleading guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution.

How many times?

…will no doubt focus on Mr. Epstein’s friendship…

How many times?

…the Duke of York, who previously claimed to have cut…

I’m sorry.

…all ties with Epstein in 2010.

[sighs]

Where does he go? Simple question, where does he go?

[scoffs]

A clue.

He’s a marsupial.

Roo. As in Kanga.

Put them together. What do you get?

Rookanga.

Oh, go away.

Go away!

[tense music playing]

[indistinct shouting intensifies]

They have acknowledged the duke’s friendship with Mr. Epstein in the past.

They state that…

[Sam] If the prime minister needs to get this message across to voters,

you’re going to need to send us someone people have actually heard of,

who can form sentences using more than just single-syllable… words…

…now has the very latest news.

The investigation surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest

three weeks ago for child sex offenses

has today widened to include his friend Prince Andrew, the Duke of York,

as previously suppressed documents from a case in 2015 come to light.

Virginia Giuffre, 17 at the time of the allegations,

claims in newly released documents that she had sex with the Duke of York

on three separate occasions.

Twice in London, and once in Mr. Epstein’s home in New York.

[female reporter] While Buckingham Palace continue to deny

these latest allegations against the Duke of York,

Virginia Giuffre told reporters outside a court in Manhattan…

[scoffs]

It’s not true.

I mean, none of it is true.

…the deepening crisis surrounding Andrew…

[scoffs]

The morning I went away to boarding school…

Mummy combed my hair.

It was one of those tortoiseshell combs. Remember those?

I can feel it now, scraping across my head.

It hurt, but I… [sighs]

But I didn’t want it to stop.

So Jason says… n-nothing changes.

We… hold our nerve.

Is that what you think?

Let’s see how it plays out.

[exhales sharply]

I’m supposed to be talking to Mummy about my 60th birthday.

She’s got big plans.

[tense warbling music builds slowly]

[anchor 1] Mr. Epstein, arrested just over a month ago,

was found dead this morning

in his cell at the Metropolitan…

[anchor 2] He once counted among his friends Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew…

[anchor 3] He was in cardiac arrest and pronounced dead…

[anchor 4] …charged on trafficking dozens of girls for sex…

[anchor 5] …six underage victims…

[anchor 6] …involving underage girls…

[anchor 7] …including Donald Trump, liked beautiful women…

[anchor 8] …categorically denied by the royal family.

[Esme] All across the world, every paper, every show on every news channel,

this is the story. The only story.

Morning.

Morning.

Sam, I want it for us.

For Newsnight.

You got your foot in the door before anyone else.

[phone buzzing]

[Sam] Amanda. Hi, it’s Sam McAlister.

Please call me.

When you’re ready to talk, we’re here.

[Amanda sighs]

Her Majesty combing your hair on your last morning at home…

Yes?

[Amanda] You remembering it and talking about it…

Yes?

[Amanda] I think there’s a reason for that.

I think you want your future back.

We both do.

Let me help you.

[man on TV] …relationship with Epstein will persist.

Now, of course, the duke, the Palace are desperate to move on from this issue,

but with today’s news,

the prospect of that seems further away than ever.

No commitments, no promises.

[Esme] But?

They’ve agreed to meet.

Right. This stays in this room, just the four of us.

If it leaks that we’re even meeting, they could get spooked.

Sam, whatever you need, it’s yours.

Actually, there was one thing. I think it will help a lot.

[Esme] Name it.

Emily.

[upbeat music plays]

I’ve never been smuggled into a palace before.

[overlapping chatter]

[Stewart] Keep it light.

[Sam] Mm.

We don’t scare him off.

We, uh… we play nice.

Be respectful.

Relax, I’ve got this.

How difficult can it be talking to the Queen’s son

about his friendship with a convicted sex offender?

[sighs]

Good morning.

[Andrew] Hello, everyone.

I hope you don’t mind, I brought someone along.

Hello.

You know my daughter Beatrice.

Hello.

[Emily] I can’t tell you what the questions will be

because I don’t know myself yet.

But when I do know…

I still won’t tell you.

[light chuckling]

But… they will be fair.

And no “gotchas,” I promise.

“Will be”?

“Would be,” I think you mean.

Were we to agree to do this.

And Pitch@Palace?

We’ll discuss that, of course.

But… you know as well as I do,

that’s not why we’re here.

Epstein.

This is about honesty.

On both sides.

If I do an interview, it will only be one.

Uh, the question is, why you?

[Emily] Stewart?

Well, um, Newsnight is forensic.

Um, it’s tough, but never sensational. And so is Emily.

And she’s a woman.

And she’s a woman.

And she’s here.

[light chuckling]

Um… [sighs deeply]

Look, in my position,

with everything that’s been, um… said,

and with the world as it is now, I…

It’s hard to imagine how I can turn it around. Frankly. I mean…

I… I have a lot of people telling me it’s a mistake even being in this room.

[Sam] And yet here you are.

And I can promise you one thing.

You can’t turn it around by staying silent.

You know how people see you, don’t you?

Why don’t you… spell it out?

Randy Andy.

Air Miles Andy.

This is sex, and girls,

and planes and private islands and money.

And, with respect, the public see these stories,

and they think, “Yep, I can believe that.”

This isn’t bad for your brand.

This is your brand.

“With respect”?

[laughing]

Well…

Sort of got a point. [laughs]

[Sam] Listen, I get it.

“Never complain, never explain.” But I’m afraid those days are over.

Yes, everyone has a voice now.

Social media. Facebook.

Twitter. Everyone’s having their say,

and what they’re saying about you

is a lot… stronger than anything I just said.

Have you seen Twitter?

No, I don’t, uh, pay attention to that.

[Beatrice] I do.

A lot worse than what she said.

[pensive music builds slowly]

So I’m just saying that’s the story,

and it doesn’t change

unless you change it,

unless you tell us a different story.

Your story.

In your voice.

[Emily] Sam’s right.

I mean,

I might not have said it quite so bluntly, but…

[Andrew] Well… [sighs]

I don’t understand why everyone’s obsessed with my friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

I knew Jimmy Savile so much better.

[laughs] Um…

Thank you very much. Very nice to meet you.

Um, should we pop up and say hello to Mummy before the Commonwealth banquet?

Never ends, does it?

Um, Amanda will be in touch, one way or another.

[Emily] Her mummy or his mummy?

[Sam] Fergie’s not here.

She’s abroad.

So his mummy.

Okay, wow. Bloody hell.

Mummy might block it.

Yeah.

Christ, I’m tired.

Pretty punchy in there, Sammy.

Nice work.

[Jason] Conditions, Amanda?

You… You discussed conditions.

I… I didn’t agree to anything.

It… It’s not like that.

Amanda.

What conditions?

The only thing that matters is that he is given the space to talk to us.

“Us”?

The nation.

Oh my God.

[chuckles, sighs]

I can’t do this.

Mm.

No.

I’m out.

I understand.

[scoffs]

If they agree, and if it happens,

it’s 60 minutes.

“If it happens”? What could stop us?

Something high up. This is the royal family and the BBC.

People start talking about the national interest and make no mistake,

if we get this, and we pull it off, it will be front page of every paper.

But if we get it wrong, if we make mistakes,

if we don’t get the tone right,

the story won’t be him. It’ll be us.

No, it won’t.

It’ll be me.

[pensive music plays]

[footsteps approaching]

[sighs deeply]

She’s always right, isn’t she?

Always.

What did she say?

She trusts my judgment.

[musical ringtone playing]

[Sam] Great.

Amanda Thirsk called.

Thursday, 2:00 p.m. The Palace.

[all breathing deeply]

We’re on.

Got 70 hours. Emily, you’re spending them with me.

Stewart, you’re producing. Sam, anyone who needs you, gets you.

Yes, is Fran there?

Yes, extremely urgent.

With the director-general? Which opera?

[woman singing opera in distance]

[Fran] When it’s done,

nobody sees the cut until the DG and I have seen it.

[opera singing continues]

Lovely to see you both.

Tony’s keeping his options open.

Well, it’s not over till the fat lady sings.

[Esme] So the question is,

what are we looking for?

A confession?

String of denials?

An apology?

No way he’s confessing unless he wants to go to jail,

and we’re not settling for an apology, so we go after him hard with the facts.

Fine. So where do we start?

[Freddy] Mm.

July 15th, 2006. Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, and Harvey Weinstein

are at Beatrice’s Victorian-themed 18th birthday party.

Epstein wore white with gold buttons and a chestful of medals.

His Florida home had just been raided by police.

Sorry, that’s a lot to take in, in one go.

July 15th, 2006,

Epstein, Maxwell, and Harvey Weinstein

are all at Beatrice’s Victorian-themed 18th birthday party.

Epstein wore white with gold buttons and a chestful of medals.

His Florida home had just been raided by police.

Sorry, that’s a lot to take in, in one go.

[all laughing]

That is fantastic. Nowhere to hide.

[Freddy] Andrew’s tried to make it seem his friendship with Ghislaine

was the main reason he spent time with Epstein.

Problem is, it looks like she was absolutely complicit

in so much of what Epstein was doing.

This painting of Clinton… That’s the Lewinsky dress.

[Freddy] Yep. Epstein had it on his wall.

There was a life-sized naked doll hanging from a chandelier.

A massage room.

Soap shaped like genitalia.

You couldn’t be anywhere near Epstein and not know.

[Sam’s mum] You know Lucas can stay here tonight if you have to work.

No, it’s fine. They don’t need me anyway.

I don’t believe that for a second.

Then why didn’t they ask me to stay, Mum?

I bring in the interview, and they still don’t want me in the room.

Sam, you know how this works.

People like us, we don’t wait to be asked.

We do what we have to do.

Did they ask you to go after Prince Andrew?

No.

No, they didn’t.

But you did.

Remember that.

And this interview,

does it matter?

Yeah, it matters.

Well, there you go, then.

[footsteps in lobby]

Love you, Mum. [chuckles softly]

I love you too, sweetheart.

[sniffs]

[gentle music builds slowly]

[sighs deeply]

[musical ringtone playing]

Hello.

[Amanda] Sam. Uh…

I hope it’s not too early.

[Esme] And the 29th. And you’ve got, what, everything from the 17th of June?

[Freddy] That’s right.

Can you put those on a memory stick?

Yeah.

[Sam] Amanda called.

Is she pulling the plug?

South Drawing Room.

Two chairs in the middle of the floor. Six feet apart.

It’s like a western.

Like a gunfight in a western.

[tense music builds slowly]

Right.

Huh.

All set?

[Esme] Emily.

What’s wrong?

What if he just apologizes?

What if I lay out all the facts,

he doesn’t admit to anything, but he does say sorry?

What if he’s good, Esme?

Then it’ll be great television.

Well, that’s not why I’m doing it.

Well, why are you doing it?

Monica Lewinsky.

I feel like I let women down by not asking Clinton about her.

Sex with that woman was actually consensual.

She was 21. He was the president of the United States.

He got his life back. She got decades of vicious misogyny.

You push.

What?

If he’s good, if he’s saying sorry for what these girls went through,

then… lean in and ask him if he feels responsible as well as sorry.

[Emily] What if he says no?

Push again, with the photograph. Show him the picture. Here.

Here.

But this photograph… is you.

I don’t believe I was ever there,

that I ever even went upstairs in that house.

Um… You don’t recollect, Your Royal Highness.

Yes, of course.

So… it’s a fake?

[Andrew] As I say,

I have no recollection of ever having been there

or even meeting that woman.

Ms. Roberts. Please don’t ever say “that woman.”

Ever.

Oh, for heaven’s sake.

I understand this is difficult.

And, of course,

you couldn’t have been there on that date, correct?

Hm.

You have denied, many times,

having even met Virginia Giuffre.

You have denied her extremely serious allegations

that she was forced to have sex with you

when she was just 17 years old.

Now, either this happened

or she’s lying.

Which is it?

[exhales]

Bingo. Brilliant.

We got him.

Sam.

Tell me.

Nothing.

Tell me.

I’m going in there. You’re not.

If you have something to say, I want to hear it.

[inhales deeply, sighs]

It’s just we offered him… space and time.

We offered him an interview.

Men like that hate it when they’re not heard.

He’ll want to be heard.

So the really big question… is what do I wear?

[laughter]

Black dress.

Simple, elegant.

Hepburn/Maitlis.

My knees.

You’ve got the best knees on TV.

I don’t want people looking at my knees.

You don’t want him looking at your knees. Actually, we do want him looking.

That would be good TV.

[chuckling]

[exhales deeply]

[Esme] Emily?

Go home.

I want you raring to go in the morning.

[Emily] 2006.

Epstein was convicted of trafficking girls as young as 14.

Yet you continued relations with him for another four years.

And yet you…

and yet you continued your friendship with him until 2010.

[tense music plays softly]

[panting] And yet you continued…

[dog barks]

Moody!

[tense music builds slowly]

That’s great. Yeah, just in this room. All right. Through there.

Moody!

ID, please, miss.

Yeah, um…

She’s with me.

Thanks!

Thanks.

[sighs]

You chase them, you’ll never catch them.

And then when they’re ready to come, you won’t be there.

He might walk out. If Emily’s doing to him what I think, it’s a strong possibility.

If he does, film it.

Whatever he does, do not stop filming.

Stewart.

Right.

Um…

Your Royal Highness.

[Andrew] Sure about this?

Little bit, um…

[woman] A bit of powder, Your Royal Highness?

Sure. What’s your name?

Cat.

Okay? First question.

Yeah.

I want it to set the tone. Straight in. “Jeffrey Epstein was a child abuser.”

“You knew that when you went to stay with him, didn’t you?”

Only one answer to that. Already he’s got nowhere to go.

[Andrew] No, this needs to be on the other side.

It’s going through the opposite edge of the chair.

That way, it won’t stick out.

Oh God.

No, wait.

Let him be. We want him to be comfortable.

Trousers.

[chuckles]

[bell ringing]

[Andrew grunts]

[stark, pensive music plays]

Just, uh…

Just… be yourself.

[Sam clears throat]

[Sam] That’s not great.

Donal McCabe. He’s from the Queen’s press office.

[Stewart] We didn’t agree to that, did we?

[Sam] With the Queen?

No. But by all means, take it up with her.

[chuckles lightly]

[woman] Sound speed.

[clock ticking]

[man] Set.

Your Royal Highness.

We’ve come to Buckingham Palace

in highly unusual circumstances.

Normally, we’d be discussing your work…

[Andrew] Mm.

…your duty.

We’ll come on to that.

But today,

you’ve chosen to speak out for the first time.

Why have you decided to talk now?

Because there is no good time

to talk about, um… Mr. Epstein

and all things associated.

And we’ve been talking to Newsnight for some time

about, um, doing something around the work that I was doing.

And unfortunately, we’ve just not been able

to fit into either your schedule or my schedule until now… now.

Actually, it’s a very good opportunity. I’m delighted to be able to see you today.

As you say,

it all goes back to your friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Hmm.

How did you first become friends?

How did you meet?

Well, I met through his girlfriend.

Um…

Back in 1999.

[whispers] It’s too open. It’s too easy.

[Andrew] I’d known Ghislaine since university. In the UK.

And, um, I didn’t spend much time…

I suppose I saw him once or twice a year, perhaps maximum three times a year,

and… quite often, um, if I was in the United States and doing things,

and he wasn’t there, he’d say,

“Why don’t you come and use my houses?”

And I said, “Thank you very much indeed.”

But it would be… a considerable stretch to say that we were very close friends.

But he had the most extraordinary ability

to, um… to bring… extraordinary people together.

And that’s the bit that I remember.

It’s going to dinner parties where you would meet…

What’s she doing?

…academics, politicians…

She’s letting him talk.

[Andrew] It was a cosmopolitan group of what I would call…

Did you trust him?

[hesitates] Um…

Yes, I think I probably did,

but, um…

Obviously, I don’t go into… um, a friendship

looking for the… the wrong thing, if you understand what I mean.

I… I’m an engaging person.

I want to be able to engage.

Am I right in thinking you threw a birthday party

for Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, at Sandringham?

No, it was a shooting weekend.

A shooting weekend?

Yes, just a straightforward… straightforward shooting weekend.

But during these times that he was a guest at Windsor Castle,

at Sandringham, this shooting weekend…

Yep.

We now know… that he had been

procuring young girls… for sex trafficking.

We now know that.

At the time,

there was no indication,

to me… or anybody else,

that that’s what he was doing.

Absolutely no indication.

[knocking]

[inhales]

Flight logs for Epstein’s jet.

The, uh, quote “Lolita Express.”

PA, Prince Andrew, is a frequent flyer.

So is BC, Bill,

and GM, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Princes, presidents, and females.

The girls don’t get named.

Just so our ducks are in a row when all of Fleet Street comes knocking.

Just for the record, you’ve been on his private plane.

Yes.

You’ve been to stay on his private island.

Yes.

You’ve stayed at his home in Palm Beach.

Yes.

So, in 2006, in May,

an arrest warrant was issued for Epstein

for sexual assault of a minor.

Yes.

He was released in July of 2010.

And within months,

you went to stay with him at his New York mansion.

Why?

Why were you staying with a convicted sex offender?

Now, I went to see him with the sole purpose of saying to him

that because he had been convicted,

it was inappropriate that we should be seen together.

I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it.

I had to go and see him and talk to him.

I went to see him. We had an opportunity to go for a walk in the park,

and that was the… uh, conversation,

coincidentally,

that was photographed.

When I… I said to him, I said, “Look, because of what has… happened,

I don’t think it is appropriate for us to remain in contact.”

And by mutual decision,

we agreed to part company, and I left.

He threw a party to celebrate his release,

and you were invited as a guest of honor.

No, I didn’t go.

Oh, in 2010.

There… Well, there… There certainly wasn’t a… a party

to celebrate his release in… December, because it was only a small dinner party.

There were only eight or ten of us at the dinner.

If there was a… a party,

then I know nothing about that.

You were invited to that dinner

as a guest of honor.

I was there, so I was at the dinner. I don’t think it was as you might put it,

but, okay, I was there. I was there at a dinner.

I’m just trying to work this out

because you said you went to break up the relationship,

and yet you stayed at that New York mansion several days.

I’m wondering how long…

I was doing a number of other things while I was there.

But you were staying at the house of a convicted sex offender.

It was a convenient place to stay.

[brooding music plays softly]

So I’ve spoken to Panorama.

Virginia Roberts says the original photo was printed and date stamped

two days after it was taken,

and we have an affidavit from a witness in 2001

who saw the photo at the time.

Freddy?

Yeah?

Thank you.

Yeah.

[Emily] One of Epstein’s accusers,

Virginia Roberts,

made allegations against you.

In a legal deposition,

she said she had sex with you three times.

Once in a London house

when she was trafficked to you in Maxwell’s house.

[softly] Uh…

Once… in New York

a month or so later in Epstein’s mansion,

and once on his private island,

in a group of seven or eight other girls.

No. [scoffs]

No to all of it?

All of it.

Absolutely no to all of it.

Are you saying you don’t believe her?

She’s lying?

That’s a difficult thing for me to, um… answer

because I don’t know

what she’s, um, trying to achieve.

But I can tell you…

uh… categorically,

I don’t remember meeting her at all.

I do not remember a photograph being taken,

and I’ve said,

consistently and, um…

frequently,

that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatever.

She says she met you in 2001.

She says she dined with you,

danced with you.

You bought her drinks

at Tramp nightclub in London.

There’s a number of things wrong with that story. One of which is that…

I don’t know where the bar is in Tramps.

Um…

Um, I don’t drink.

Um, I… I don’t think I’ve ever bought a drink in Tramps whenever I was there.

Do you remember dancing with her?

No, that couldn’t have happened because on that particular date,

I was, um, at home. I was with the children.

And I had taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking

for a party, I think… round about 4:00, 5:00 in the afternoon.

Why would you remember that so specifically?

Because going to Pizza Express in Woking

is an unusual thing for me to do.

A very unusual thing for me to do.

Uh, stop. Um…

Can… Can we?

Please, um, I would like to go back.

I would like to make a… a specific reference to the date.

March the 10th.

I think it’s perfectly clear. Do we need that?

I think we’re rolling well, don’t you, Emily?

No?

No.

[scoffs]

She was very specific about that night.

Mm-hmm.

She described dancing with you.

No.

And you profusely sweating.

[scoffs]

Um, there’s a… there’s a, um… a slight problem with the sweating.

But… because I have, um, a… peculiar condition,

which is that I don’t sweat, or rather I didn’t sweat at the time.

And that would, um… Oh, actually…

Yes, I didn’t sweat at the time,

and that’s because I suffered

what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War

when I was shot at, and I simply, um…

it… it… it was almost impossible for me to… to… to sweat.

I wonder

if you have any sense of

guilt, regret, or shame

about any of your behavior

in your friendship with Epstein.

On balance…

could I have avoided… ever meeting him?

Mm…

I don’t think so,

and that’s because of my friendship with Ghislaine.

[sighs through lips] Do I regret the fact

that he’s quite obviously, uh, conducted himself in a manner unbecoming…

[Emily] “Unbecoming”? He was a sex offender.

Yes, I’m sorry. I… I was being polite.

I mean, in the sense that he was a sex offender. But, no, um…

Was I right in having him as a friend?

Um…

At the time,

bearing in mind this was some years before he was accused of being a sex offender,

I don’t think there was anything wrong… then.

The problem was, after the fact, that after he had been convicted…

You stayed with him.

I stayed with him.

And that’s the bit that, um, as it were,

I kick myself for on a daily basis. [chuckles]

Because that… it was… it was not, um, becoming of a member of the royal family,

and we… we try to uphold the highest standards and practices,

and I… I let the side down, simple as that.

[music fades]

[clock ticking]

Is there anything you feel has been left unsaid

that you would like to say now?

No, I don’t think so.

You probably dragged out of me most of what’s required.

[breathes deeply]

[tense music playing]

[camera whirring]

[exhales deeply]

I’m gonna go.

I have a biker downstairs. The memory cards. Both copies…

Now, would you all like a tour?

Some stills?

Ah. Yes, of course. Um… Tell you what, two birds, one stone.

You take your snaps while I show Emily around.

[unsettling music intensifies]

[soundscape distorts eerily]

[distorted] Wasn’t he wonderful?

[softly] Wonderful.

[music fades]

[sighs]

[tense music builds]

[chattering indistinctly]

[camera clicks]

[music fades out]

You know, I thought that all went very well.

Like a walk in the park.

[pensive music plays]

[clattering]

Expecting a car, madam?

Uh… Uh, no. Thank you.

Um… I think I’m going to walk.

But thank you.

I think I might be sick.

[both chuckle]

Emily. That was…

[breathes deeply]

That was him… right there. You did it.

We did it.

Thanks, Sammy.

[pensive music continues]

[Stewart] How are we doing?

Twitter teasers are nearly ready. When do we go live?

[Stewart] I’m gonna talk to the DG about that now.

[chuckles softly]

She had her man in the room when you shot the interview. He recorded it. Yes?

Could she stop it going out, Tony?

Well, she is the Queen. I mean, I’d have to take the call.

We want to trail it on Friday night after the show, live.

With Emily?

Of course. With teasers on socials afterwards.

[Tony] I’ll tell the Palace we’re broadcasting on Saturday night.

Wait for me to get back to you.

[doors opening]

How long?

Fifteen minutes.

[Emily] I guess no news is good news.

Oh…

Tony?

Esme, hi.

Pull the trigger. We’re on.

Tomorrow night, in a Newsnight special program,

we will hear for the first time from the duke himself.

In an unprecedented interview,

he speaks to us at length about his friendship with Epstein

and the claims made against him.

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York,

has long faced questions about his ties to the financier Jeffrey Epstein,

who took his life earlier this year

while awaiting trial on sex…

[gentle anticipative music builds slowly]

[notification alerts chime faintly]

[phone buzzes]

[music trails off]

Where does this bloody dust come from?

I know, sir.

[elevator dings]

[Amanda] “For the prince, the whole nerve-shredding exercise is designed

to show that he has nothing to hide.”

“It will show that he has been wholly honest and truthful.”

“‘In a way, ‘ says a friend, ‘he is saying, “Judge me.””

It’s… It’s excellent, isn’t it?

Huh.

It’s… It’s exactly the right tone.

[sighs]

Very good.

Would you… Would you like me to be here tonight

when it… goes out?

Oh, no, I don’t think so.

No, I really don’t think that’s necessary.

[positive music playing]

[door opens]

[Sam’s mum] Hello!

Nana, this is Freya.

Hello. Come in. Come in.

Freya, this is Netta.

Hello.

[kissing]

[jingle playing on TV]

[grunts softly]

Um, in… In fact, I’m convinced

that I was never in Tramps with her.

There’s a number of things wrong with that story. One of which is that…

I don’t know where the bar is.

[notifications whirring rapidly]

I have a, um… a peculiar condition, which is that I don’t sweat,

or rather I didn’t sweat at the time. And that would…

and that is because I had suffered

what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War.

Because going to Pizza Express in Woking

is an unusual thing for me to do.

A very unusual thing for me to do.

[Emily] So, if Virginia Roberts is watching this interview,

what’s your message to her?

I don’t have a message for her

because I have to have…

She gives him every chance.

And if somebody’s going to make these sorts of allegations…

[notification alerts chiming]

[Andrew] We try and uphold the highest standards and practices,

and, um, I let the side down, simple as that.

Christ’s sake.

[phone chiming, vibrating]

[Emily] …you feel you’d like to say…

that has been left unsaid?

[notification alerts chiming]

[Andrew] No, I don’t think so.

You probably dragged out of me most of what’s required.

[pensive music builds slowly]

[Lucas] We’re gonna sit up front, Mum.

[music fades out]

[clock ticking]

[footsteps approaching]

Your Royal Highness.

[Andrew] Mm.

[gentle music plays softly]

[clicking, whirring]

[cameras clicking]

[man 1] Amanda!

[man 2] Amanda, a quick statement.

[all clamoring]

[indistinct overlapping shouting]

Would you like to comment?

[clicking, whirring]

The Palace have just released a statement from the Duke of York.

“I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back

from public duties for the foreseeable future,

and she has given me her permission.”

“I continue to unequivocally regret

my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.”

“His suicide has left many unanswered questions,

particularly for his victims.”

“I can only hope that in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.”

This is what Newsnight is.

We put the time in… to get the stories other shows won’t.

Stories that need to be told,

that people care about,

hold the powerful to account

and give victims a voice.

[all clapping]

Thank you.

[chuckles softly]

[indistinct overlapping chatter]

Two lamb shawarma.

The usual.

Thanks. [chuckles]

You seen this? Love to be there when they filmed that!

Yeah, I did. I saw it.

Thanks.

Bye.

[energetic pensive music playing]

[pulsing pensive music builds]

[energetic music plays]

[music trails off]

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