'I did what I did. And shame on me."
That's Eliot Spitzer, former governor of New York, fessing up to Alex Gibney in the closing minutes of the filmmaker's riveting Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. Gibney, who won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, suggests that Spitzer's downfall might have been facilitated by enemies he'd made busting chops on Wall Street and in Albany.
Forced to resign from his governorship when it was revealed that he had been frequenting an escort service, Spitzer says the right thing: He did it, and shame.
But Gibney, in this fascinating documentary about sex and ambition, power and hubris, makes the case that despite Spitzer's epically reckless hotel trysts with $1,000-an-hour call girls, he may well have been the target of a political hit. Just look at the loathing in Kenneth Langone's eyes when the Home Depot billionaire is asked about Spitzer; listen to the threatening phone message to Spitzer's father, alleged to have been made by rogue Republican lobbyist Roger Stone; take in the grin on Joseph Bruno's mug when the former majority leader of the New York Senate - Spitzer's pugilistic rival in the legislature - recalls reading those "Luv Guv" headlines.