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"A Very English Scandal" Episode #1.3 (TV Episode 2018) Poster

(TV Mini-Series)

(2018)

Quotes

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Sir Joseph Cantley: I now turn to the evidence of Mr Scott. You will remember him well - a hysterical, warped personality, and an accomplished sponger. Very skilful at exciting and exploiting sympathy. A spineless, neurotic character, addicted to self-advertisement. He is a crook, he is a fraud, he is a sponger, he is a whiner, he is a parasite. Of course, I'm not suggesting that you should not believe him. That is for you - I'm not expressing any opinion. You have seen this wretched Scott in the witness box. You have seen his vindictive attitude. I leave it for you to decide.

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[over breakfast, Marion is questioning Jeremy about his "Bunnies can - and will - go to France" love letter to Norman Scott which has just been published in the newspapers]

Jeremy Thorpe: "Bunnies"?

Jeremy Thorpe: [to his son] Rupert, darling, I want you to take that piece of toast and eat it in your room. There's a good boy.

Jeremy Thorpe: [to Marion] Technically he was "Bunny", singular.

Marion Thorpe: Then why did you say "Bunnies"? Were there two of you? Are *you* a Bunny? Am I married to a Bunny?

Jeremy Thorpe: No, I was using a generic noun in an imperative clause.

Marion Thorpe: Well, thank God it's grammatically correct, because the whole country's reading this! Bunnies!

[later scene: Jeremy returns home]

Jeremy Thorpe: Well, I saw David Steel. Handed him my letter. I have resigned as leader of the Liberal Party. One word. One bloody word brought me down.

Marion Thorpe: No, it wasn't "Bunnies". It's because you lied. You told the party you hardly knew Norman Scott, then the "Bunnies" letter caught you out. From that moment on, your position was untenable.

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[after the "Bunnies" letter has been published, Jeremy is explaining himself to Marion]

Jeremy Thorpe: Before I met you, um, before I met Caroline... I had moments... certain nights, unfortunate nights, involving alcohol... and, um... with no women in the vicinity, I... I would dabble, to relieve myself... and that's all.

[Marion looks sceptical but not shocked]

Marion Thorpe: So this thing with Norman Scott, it wasn't a relationship?

Jeremy Thorpe: Oh! How could it be?

Marion Thorpe: Jeremy, I'm not a fool. I practically grew up with Benjamin Britten. I've seen something of the world. I fled from Hitler, for God's sake. My own son married a hippie in a yurt. And I've toured with orchestras. I couldn't begin to tell you the things I've seen, so there's no need to protect me.

Jeremy Thorpe: I made mistakes, and I've stopped. And I swear I had nothing to do with that gun and the dog and...

Marion Thorpe: Of course you didn't, Jeremy!

Jeremy Thorpe: Absolutely nothing to do with me.

Marion Thorpe: I'm not even asking. I won't dignify it with discussion, and there's an end to it.

Jeremy Thorpe: Thank you.

Marion Thorpe: For what it's worth, I think people have focussed on the word "Bunnies". But the last thing you wrote in that letter was "I miss you". I think that's a wonderful thing for a man to say to his friend.

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[George Carman has been retained to defend Jeremy Thorpe in court, and is meeting him for the first time]

George Carman Q.C.: What a great big stinking mess you've got yourself into. I want to say congratulations.

Jeremy Thorpe: What for?

George Carman Q.C.: These are the greatest charges ever levelled against a Member of Parliament - and considering the House of Commons has had 270 years of bastards, liars, perverts, thieves, blackmailers, inbreds and arsonists, that really is quite an achievement.

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[George Carman is attacking and ridiculing the character of Peter Bessell who is appearing as a prosecution witness in Jeremy Thorpe's trial]

George Carman Q.C.: Did you serve in the war?

Peter Bessell: What? Um, no, I did not, I was a conscientious objector.

George Carman Q.C.: So you only objected to acts of violence in wartime when it saved your neck?

Peter Bessell: That's not fair. I did my bit.

George Carman Q.C.: In what way?

Peter Bessell: I gave lectures to the Armed Forces in... classical music.

[laughter in court]

George Carman Q.C.: [sarcastically] Well, no wonder we won, Mr Bessell!

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[George Carman is questioning Norman Scott in court]

George Carman Q.C.: Mr Scott, I want to ask about what I suspect are a number of discrepancies in your statements concerning your night at Ursula Thorpe's house. To the police in December 1962, you said "I am almost certain that his penis did not go into my anus", but now you are claiming that penetration did take place, to the extent that you bit the pillow.

Norman Scott: Well, that's easy. I didn't mention it in 1962 because buggery was illegal then. I would have been arrested - and so would he!

[he points at Jeremy Thorpe in the dock]

Norman Scott: Jeremy Thorpe lives on a knife-edge of danger.

George Carman Q.C.: Isn't this more a case of "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"?

Norman Scott: Well, it would be, yes, except for one vital fact - I am not a woman.

[laughter in court; in a break in proceedings, George Carman storms angrily from court to a private meeting with Jeremy Thorpe]

George Carman Q.C.: You could have warned me that Norman Scott is so fucking clever!

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George Carman Q.C.: What's your source of income?

Norman Scott: Well, at the moment I'm getting money of TV stations for interviews.

George Carman Q.C.: Then that makes you yet another profiteer with a vested interest in making money from savaging my client's reputation, does it not?

Norman Scott: If they want to pay me, that's fine. That's not the point.

George Carman Q.C.: [trying to prevent Scott from saying any more] Thank you, Mr Scott, we've proved your motives.

Norman Scott: No, but you need to know why.

George Carman Q.C.: [interrupting] M'lud, I think the witness might be permitted to explain?

Sir Joseph Cantley: [reluctantly] If we *must*.

Norman Scott: If they're paying me, its because I can say the truth. I don't care about the money, but I do care about how men like me are shoved into corners and masturbated in the dark and then thrown out the door like we're dirt. Like we're *nothing*, like we exist. And all the history books get written with men like me missing. So, yes I *will* talk, I *will* be heard and I *will* be seen, Your Honour. You can pay me or not pay me, I don't care. But the one thing you will not do is shut me up.

Norman Scott: [to George Carman] Thank you. You may continue.

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[Norman Scott has just given his "I *will* be heard" speech in court]

Edna Friendship: [hugging Norman] Norman! Oh, you little swine! You were amazing!

Norman Scott: I was rude, I was vile, I was queer - I was myself.

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[private meeting between Jeremy Thorpe and George Carman]

George Carman Q.C.: This is the story of a liar meeting a fantasist... but I'm not sure which one's which. My problem is this - it's your turn to take the stand. I have to conduct your defence, and yet I can't help wondering, will you be as convincing as Norman Scott?

Jeremy Thorpe: Good God. Yes, I think that people will take my word rather than his, yes.

George Carman Q.C.: But the jury have just seen him in all his glory - an open homosexual, the new world blazing. In contrast, you might seem a little... old. And if they prefer him, you could go to jail.

Jeremy Thorpe: So what do you suggest?

George Carman Q.C.: That you don't take the stand.

Jeremy Thorpe: That would be worse.

George Carman Q.C.: I wonder.

Jeremy Thorpe: I'd look guilty. And I'd look like a coward.

George Carman Q.C.: That might be a risk worth taking.

Jeremy Thorpe: Are we running, in fear, from Norman Scott? Well, thank God it's not your decision it's mine.

George Carman Q.C.: My case. My courtroom. I decide.

Jeremy Thorpe: I could have you sacked, George.

George Carman Q.C.: Consider the balance of the scales of justice above us. If you don't take the stand, you could look like a liar. If you *do* take the stand, you could look like a liar.

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[following his acquittal, Jeremy Thorpe is charming the press from the balcony of his house in London]

Ursula Thorpe: [to Jeremy] Of course, you're ruined. You know that, don't you?

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