Brutal hidden truth of Borat sequel
The babysitter hailed as the "moral compass" of the new Borat movie says she feels "betrayed" after she was led to believe she was participating in a real documentary about a teen being groomed to marry a rich man - and prayed for her until the trailer came out.
Jeanise Jones, 62, said the filmmakers never came clean to her about the true premise after she was recruited through a church in Oklahoma City to be featured in the Sacha Baron Cohen satire.
"I'm feeling like she's from the Third World and that kind of stuff does happen where they sell women. I'm thinking this is for real so I felt kind of betrayed by it," she told The Post.
In the movie, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Baron Cohen revives his infamous Kazakh journalist character Borat Sagdiye as he pranks politicians and other unsuspecting Americans under the guise of marrying off his teen daughter Tutar, played by 24-year-old Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova.
Jones' pastor, Derrick Scobey, said the production approached Ebenezer Baptist Church about needing a "sassy" black grandmother in her 70s to participate in a documentary and landed on Jones after speaking to a few other congregants.
Jones - who had never heard of Baron Cohen - was tasked with watching "Tutar," who she was led to believe is 14 or 15 years old.
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"They told me it was a documentary for this young lady to understand she has rights and she can do whatever a man can do," Jones said.
In the film, Jones was seen assuring Tutar that she doesn't need plastic surgery to get married, and that she wants her to "be happy" and "use your brain, because your daddy is a liar."
"I felt pain for her and tried [to see] if there's any way we can get through to her that she doesn't need to do all that," Jones said.
Jones said she filmed some of the scenes in Oklahoma, then was flown out to Washington state months later to film another. She was paid around $US3,600 (AU $5045.27) for her participation and was told that the flick would premiere overseas in November.
But after filming wrapped, she worried about the girl and asked other congregants at her church to help pray for her.
"We were concerned," Jones said.
"We were up there praying for her and asking God to help her and we were doing what we thought was the Christian thing to do."
She said she only learned that it was all a ruse when her cousin showed her the trailer for the Amazon Prime movie last week.
"I was just kind of shocked and that it was that kind of movie," Jones said, adding that she wished producers came clean earlier.
Her pastor has said he believes Baron Cohen owes Jones an apology and to pay her better compensation for her role in the film.
"I would love to see him, if nothing else, on a Zoom call in a very lighthearted manner, 'We're sorry we pulled one over on you,' " Scobey said - adding that a cheque would be nice, too, since Jones was laid off from her job as an insurance claims auditor.
In the meantime, the pastor has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Jones, whom he calls the "moral compass" of the film. It has so far raised around $US5800 (AU $8128.49) of a $US100,000 (AU $140146.30) target.
"It's just saying she got the short end of the stick, you love her around the world, so it would be a blessing if you donated," Scobey said.
This story originally appeared on Page Six and is republished here with permission.
Originally published as Brutal hidden truth of Borat sequel