Netflix’s latest political thriller, Anatomy of a Scandal, takes a long, hard look at the lack of accountability among Britain's rich and powerful.


Adapted from Sarah Vaughan’s best-selling book of the same name, and coming to our screens courtesy of Big Little Lies series creator David E Kelley, the series follows married Tory MP James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend), who is accused of raping his aide and former lover, Olivia (Naomi Scott).

His dutiful wife Sophie (Sienna Miller) is convinced of her husband's innocence, but prosecutor Kate (Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery) is equally certain that he's guilty of the terrible crime.

Read on for everything you need to know about the upcoming adaptation of Anatomy of a Scandal.

Anatomy of a Scandal release date and time

Rupert Friend as Tom Whitehouse in Anatomy of a Scandal
Rupert Friend as Tom Whitehouse in Anatomy of a Scandal Ana Cristina/Netflix

Anatomy of a Scandal was released on Netflix on 15th April 2022 at 8am BST.

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David E Kelley (Big Little Lies) and former House Of Cards showrunner Melissa James Gibson have teamed up for the six-part Netflix adaptation.

In May 2020 it was announced that the series would be directed by SJ Clarkson (Succession, Jessica Jones).

Anatomy of a Scandal cast

Naomi Scott as Olivia Lytton in Anatomy of a Scandal with an emotional expression on her face
Naomi Scott as Olivia Lytton in Anatomy of a Scandal Netflix

The cast for Anatomy of a Scandal has been confirmed as the following.

  • Sienna Miller as Sophie Whitehouse
  • Michelle Dockery as Kate Woodcroft, QC
  • Rupert Friend as James Whitehouse MP
  • Naomi Scott as Olivia Lytton
  • Josette Simon as Angela Regan, QC
  • Geoffrey Streatfeild as Tom Southern
  • Joshua McGuire as Chris Clarke
  • Liz White as Ali Conlon
  • Nancy Farino as Holly
  • Hannah Dodd as young Sophie
  • Ben Radcliffe as young James
  • Jake Simmance as young Tom
  • Annie Haworth as young Alison
  • Amelie Bea-Smith as Emily Whitehouse
  • Sebastian Selwood as Finn Whitehouse

The three main leads have been announced: Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery and Rupert Friend.

Rupert Friend and Sienna Miller in Anatomy of a Scandal
Rupert Friend and Sienna Miller in Anatomy of a Scandal Netflix

Miller plays Sophie Whitehouse, an Oxford graduate and happily married mother of two, while Friend plays her husband, the ambitious junior minister James.

Meanwhile, Kate Woodcroft, QC, will be played by Dockery. Kate is a steely criminal barrister specialising in prosecuting sexual crimes - and she's now handling the high-profile case involving James Whitehouse.

What is Anatomy of a Scandal about?

The 2017 book of the same name, written by Sarah Vaughan (who is also executive producing the Netflix adaptation), revolves around the marital breakdown experienced by Westminster politician James Whitehouse and his wife Sophie, after the political aide he was having an affair with - Olivia - accuses him of rape.

The official synopsis for Netflix reads: "A psychological thriller and gripping courtroom drama, the series infiltrates Britain's elite through personal and political scandal, where the truth lies between justice and privilege.

"James and Sophie Whitehouse live in a blissful and rarified world. A Minister in Parliament, a loving family at home, James' trajectory appears without limits. Until a scandalous secret suddenly comes to light. Barrister Kate Woodcroft has a trajectory of her own, and her prosecution threatens to tear into Westminster, the Whitehouse marriage, and her own personal esteem."

Anatomy of a Scandal trailer

A trailer for Anatomy of a Scandal has now been released.

Catch the clip below, which promises that "heads will roll"!

It certainly teases some explosive drama, themes about class and gender, and some opportunity for its stars to put in some acting.

But is the show as dramatic as the trailer? You'll have to watch to find out...

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.


If you want to read Sarah Vaughan's Anatomy of a Scandal, head over to Amazon now.