John Brandy (George Lazenby) is an ex-cop on holiday in Singapore with his girlfriend Ginger (Diane Craig) when he hears an old Perth banker friend of his, Frank Newman (Ken Goodlet), has committed suicide. He travels to Perth and discovers that Newman killed himself after being drugged at a party and found himself in a pornographic film; he was blackmailed and embezzled money to pay off his tormentors, but when the film was distributed anyway he decided to take his own life. Newman and Ginger decide to investigate who is behind the blackmail racket.
The Newman Shame was one of two Australian television films Lazenby made for producer Robert Bruning, the other being Is There Anybody There? (1976). Along with The Man from Hong Kong (1975), they are the only movies he made in Australia. He had gone to Hollywood but briefly returned to Australia for The Newman Shame.