George Santos Claims Jimmy Kimmel Duped Him into Embarrassing Cameo Recordings

Ex-Congressman Embroiled in High-Profile Copyright Lawsuit

by Zain ul Abedin
George Santos Claims Jimmy Kimmel Duped Him into Embarrassing Cameo Recordings
© Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In a stunning turn of events, former Congressman George Santos has filed a lawsuit against late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, alleging deception in the creation of videos on the popular Cameo app. The lawsuit, which has garnered significant attention, was lodged in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

This legal action has named several high-profile defendants, including Kimmel himself, ABC, and the Walt Disney Company. George Santos, a once-prominent figure in New York's Republican circle, faced expulsion from the House of Representatives last year following multiple fraud charges and accusations of misappropriating donor funds.

The lawsuit centers around allegations of copyright infringement, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. At the heart of the matter is the claim that Kimmel misrepresented himself to entice Santos into creating Cameo videos.

These videos, Santos contends, were crafted to exploit and mock his outgoing personality. Cameo, a platform where celebrities and public figures offer personalized video messages for a fee, became the unwitting stage for this controversy.

Unbeknownst to Santos, the lawsuit claims, Kimmel made at least 14 requests under false pretenses, crafting fictitious names and narratives. The complaint highlights how these videos were subsequently featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

in a segment titled "Will Santos Say It?"

Santos Seeks $750K Damages

One particularly notable instance involved Santos congratulating a supposed winner of a beef-eating contest. His praise for the feat of consuming 6 pounds of ground beef in under 30 minutes was highlighted on Kimmel's show, sparking laughter and controversy.

"Frankly, Kimmel’s fake requests were funny, but what he did was a clear violation of copyright law," Santos’s attorney, Robert Fantone, stated. Santos is now seeking substantial damages, amounting to $750,000 for the five videos aired on Kimmel’s show and shared across social media platforms.

The lawsuit also includes a request for additional damages, the exact amount of which will be determined during the trial. The backdrop to this lawsuit is the host of criminal charges Santos faces. These include fraud involving campaign donors, false statements to Congress, illegal use of campaign funds for personal expenses, and unauthorized credit card charges.

Despite these allegations, Santos pleaded not guilty in October to a revised indictment. In a recent development, Democrat Tom Suozzi clinched victory in a special election for Santos's vacated seat, marginally reducing the Republican majority in the House to 219-213.

This lawsuit adds yet another layer to the complex and controversial narrative surrounding the former congressman’s career.

George Santos