Anatomy of a Scandal – who is Olivia Lytton?

By Marc Miller
Published: April 15, 2022 (Last updated: November 4, 2023)
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Anatomy of a Scandal – who is Olivia Lytton?

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

Read the review of Season 1.

English actress Naomi Scott plays the character of Olivia Lytton. While the character of Olivia Lytton is a supporting one, she is a significant figure throughout the series because she is involved in the series’ central mystery. Was Olivia Lytton raped or lying because she is a jilted lover? This is central to the Netflix streaming series’ plot. This plot point drives the story, which acts as a spiderweb to past issues and crimes committed.

So, that begs the question:

Who is Oliva in season 1 of Anatomy of a Scandal?

Olivia Lytton is a colleague and underling of James Whitehouse. She is on his staff and is helping draft him immigration bills that can help millions. She also has an affair with Whitehouse. It lasted five months, and she took it hard at first. So much so, when James says how talented she is, she responds coldly about what talent he is talking about.

What does Olivia do?

After the affair ended, James thought he was in the clear because he had survived the scandal that hit the papers. However, at the end of the pilot episode, he is told Olivia has accused him of rape. During the trial, when she testifies, she describes the affair and looks her former lover straight in the eyes, telling him that she was in love with him. This hurts Olivia because many may have then thought she was a jilted lover.

She testifies, giving an honest assessment that she may have given him a signal and was probing to see if James still cared about her. While she was into their physical acts on the elevator, Olivia testified that he became aggressive and began to scare her. She was also concerned someone would see them on the elevator, so she told him “not here,” which means “no.” James ignored her and then sexually assaulted her by penetrating her without her consent. He leaves her with these words, “Stop being such a prick tease.”

During the cross-examination, she became rattled when James’s barrister, Angela, tore apart her testimony and her version of the truth of the consent. Olivia represents what we all know too well in today’s culture — a product of blaming the victim. James is acquitted of rape.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

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