Is Anatomy of a Scandal based on a true story?

20 April 2022, 15:59

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Is Anatomy of a Scandal based on a true story? Find out what inspired the hit Netflix series.

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Anatomy of a Scandal has shot up the Netflix charts since it was released last week, and with the new drama series proving a huge hit with viewers.

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The series, which is based on the book of the same name by Sarah Vaughan, stars Sienna Miller as Sophie, the wife of a senior politician named James (played by Rupert Friend) who gets accused of assault.

While Sophie initially decides to stand by her husband, her world is turned upside down when prosecuting barrister Kate Woodcroft (Michelle Dockery) rips into him at trial.

Fans of the series may be wondering how much - if any - is based on true events.

Here's what we know...

Sienna Miller stars in Anatomy of a Scandal
Sienna Miller stars in Anatomy of a Scandal. Picture: Netflix

Is Anatomy of a Scandal a true story?

Anatomy of a Scandal is not based on a true story, but it was inspired by the author's experience of covering similar cases as a court reporter.

"I saw how sex scandals involving politicians broke and played out. I was in the lobby when the Home Secretary David Blunkett was exposed by the News of the World for having an affair with the publisher of the Spectator; and I saw Boris Johnson colourfully deny and later admit to lying over, his affair with Petronella Wyatt," Vaughan previously said.

Anatomy of a Scandal is streaming on Netflix now
Anatomy of a Scandal is streaming on Netflix now. Picture: Netflix

In an article for Waterstones to coincide with the launch of her book in 2018, she added: "It was through becoming a political correspondent that I became even more conscious of power, privilege, and entitlement—all issues at the heart of Anatomy of a Scandal."

Speaking to Vanity Fair about the series, Sienna Miller said: "Anatomy of a scandal is a commentary on the disastrous effect of entitlement. If you look at our government, [David] Cameron and Boris Johnson, and all of them went to Eton [College], and then they all went to Oxford, and they are friends. They've been given the best education, the best leg up in life from the start. I sort of feel like they, in moments, have acted with impunity or a different set of rules for them than for everybody else."

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