A former House member who was kicked out of Congress for lying about his credentials is now suing a late-night comedian for making fun of him.
George Santos, who was expelled from the House of Representatives on Dec. 1, 2023, has sent a legal notice to Jimmy Kimmel and ABC, accusing them of using his Cameo videos without his permission, according to The New York Post.
Cameo is a service that allows people to pay celebrities to record personalized messages for them. Santos, who has denied allegations of lying about his campaign finances and scamming donors, has been making money by selling his Cameos for $500 each.
But Kimmel, the host of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, has been secretly ordering Cameos from Santos and airing them on his show as part of a segment called “Will Santos Say It?”. Kimmel said he wanted to test the limits of what Santos would say for money.
“I sent him a bunch of crazy video requests because I wanted to see what he would read and what he wouldn’t read,” Kimmel said on his show last Monday.
“I showed some of them on the air on Thursday, and now he’s demanding $20,000 from me to be paid a commercial rate.”
George Santos should be thanking me: Jimmy Kimmel
The late-night comedian also mocked Santos for claiming that he made more money in a week from Cameo than he did in a year in Congress.
“He should be thanking me for buying these videos,” Kimmel joked.
Santos, who lied about his education, military service, and business experience during his run for Congress, was not amused by Kimmel’s prank. He hired a lawyer, Andrew Mancilla, who sent a “cease and desist” letter to Kimmel, ABC, and the executive producer of Kimmel’s show, Doug Deluca, on Dec. 12.
The NYP reported that Kimmel and ABC could face legal action for their “fraudulent” and “unauthorized” use of Santos’ Cameos.
“We are writing to congratulate you — your ‘dream’ of being sued by Mr. Santos may indeed come true,” Mancilla wrote.
“While your comedic efforts are much appreciated, you should have obtained Mr. Santos’ consent, as he is not camera shy, nor is he blind to the comedic irony of suing you for fraud,” the letter said.
Mancilla also accused Kimmel of being a “sneaky little trickster” who violated Cameo’s Terms of Service and New York State’s Civil Rights Law by exploiting Santos’ image and voice for his own benefit.
“You also breached Cameo’s Terms of Service, which we understand they already contacted you about,” the letter said.
“We trust you will take this letter as seriously as Mr. Santos takes his Cameo commitments. Let’s resolve this. Call us.”