Anatomy of a Scandal season 1 – who is James Whitehouse?

By Marc Miller
Published: April 15, 2022 (Last updated: November 4, 2023)
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Who is James Whitehouse in season 1 of Anatomy of a Scandal - netflix series

This article, “who is James Whitehouse,” contains spoilers regarding Netflix’s Anatomy of a Scandal season 1.

Read the season 1 review.

Actor Rupert Friend (Homeland) plays the central figure in Anatomy of a Scandal, James Whitehouse. The character of James Whitehouse is a central one because most of the crimes being committed in the Netflix steaming series involve him. So, naturally, he is involved in the series’ central mystery. Let’s go over them. Did James Whitehouse rape Olivia Lytton and Holly Berry? Was Whitehouse involved in the death of his Oxford chum, Alec Fisher? This plot point drives the story, which acts as a spiderweb that leads to the character of James Whitehouse.

So, that begs the question:

Who is James Whitehouse in season 1 of Anatomy of a Scandal?

James Whitehouse is a high-ranking official in the British parliament. He is a current government minister and is working on an immigration bill that will help millions of people. He becomes involved in a scandal by having an affair with an underling, Olivia Lytton, for five months, and it comes out in the press. James somehow patches things up with his wife, Sophie, and she does not leave him.

What does James Whitehouse do?

Besides having an affair with Olivia, she later accuses him of raping her. He also is later charged with raping a former college classmate, Holly Berry, but no one can seem to locate her or where she moved to. And finally, he admits to Sophie that he helped his friend Tom, the current Prime Minister, cover up the death of their friend, Alec Fisher, and get rid of the heroin Tom brought to the party.

James testifies that Olivia lied about the rape and can only think that he is getting back at him for breaking off the affair (mind you, Olivia could have just gone to his wife, Sophie). We later find out that Olivia’s lawyer is Holly Berry! Yes, she is the college student he raped back in Oxford. He recognizes this during the cross-examination and even rattles her until Woodcroft gets Whitehouse to act as the proper arrogant prig he is.

Later, James admits to Sophie that he did have sex with Holly, but she is now accusing him of rape because, possibly, she was a virgin and was not impressed with his performance. (My God, this guy will say anything). While James is later acquitted of the rape of Olivia and the assault of Holly will never see the light of day, his wife leaves him. She also tips the police off that James and the current Prime Minister covered up a crime to protect their political aspirations and futures.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

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