The basis for a television mini-series starring Hugh Grant, now a nominee for an Emmy Award
A behind-the-scenes look at the desperate, scandalous private life of a British MP and champion manipulator, and the history-making trial that exposed his dirty secrets
As a member of Parliament and leader of the Liberal Party in the 1960s and ’70s, Jeremy Thorpe’s bad behavior went under the radar for years. Police and politicians alike colluded to protect one of their own. In 1970, Thorpe was the most popular and charismatic politician in the country, poised to hold the balance of power in a coalition government.
But Jeremy Thorpe was a man with a secret. His homosexual affairs and harassment of past partners, along with his propensity for lying and embezzlement, only escalated as he evaded punishment. That is, until a dark night on the moor with an ex-lover, a dog, and a hired gun led to consequences that even his charm and power couldn’t help him escape.
Dubbed the “Trial of the Century,” Thorpe’s climactic case at the Old Bailey in London was the first time that a leading British politician had stood trial on a murder charge, and the first time that a murder plot had been hatched in the House of Commons. And it was the first time that a prominent public figure had been exposed as a philandering gay man in an era when homosexuality had only just become legal.
With the pace and drama of a thriller, A Very English Scandal is an extraordinary story of hypocrisy, deceit, and betrayal at the heart of the British establishment.