Comedian Steve Rannazzisi has confessed that he lied about being inside the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Rannazzisi, who stars in the FX series The League, claimed he escaped the South Tower after the first tower was hit - but a bombshell report in The New York Times has revealed he had made it all up.
He had told the story in elaborate detail. In 2011, he told "Sklarbro Country Podcast:" “I was working at Merrill Lynch in the South Tower of the World Trade Center and I was there in my office when the first tower got hit.”
In a 2009 episode of the Marc Maron "WTF" podcast, he described watching the second plane hit: “I went downstairs, walked outside, saw all the pandemonium and then about five or six minutes later - bang. Then I just started f**** booking it.”
Maron asked: “How much did it f*** you up mentally?”
“I still have dreams of like, you know those falling dreams,” Rannazzisi said.
He claimed the experience forced him to re-evaluate his life and pursue his dream of being a comedian. He moved to Los Angles and started a successful comedy career.
But his web of lies were revealed by The New York Times, which discovered he never worked for Merrill Lynch and had been nowhere near the World Trade Center on 9/11.
The disgraced comedian was forced to come clean.
"I was not at the Trade Center on that day." he said in a statement. "I don't know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry."
"It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones. All I can ask is for forgiveness,” he continued.
Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, whose dad died on September 11, took to Twitter to address the Ranazzisi issue.
It's ok @SteveRannazzisi people make mistakes ... Can't wait to meet my dad for lunch later— Pete Davidson (@petedavidson) September 16, 2015
Take it easy on @SteveRannazzisi ... He reached out to me and is truly sorry. We all sometimes lie and exaggerate a story to seem cooler ...— Pete Davidson (@petedavidson) September 16, 2015
..Unfortunately this is a very touchy topic n very near n dear 2 peoples hearts.Its years later but he apologized n owned up 2 it like a man— Pete Davidson (@petedavidson) September 16, 2015
Now, Rannazzisi's promising career is now in jeopardy.
Comedy Central was scheduled to air his one-hour special Breaking Dad on Saturday but now they're reconsidering.
"We are very disappointed to hear about Steve’s misrepresentations and are currently determining how we will move forward,” the company said.
His commercial deal with Buffalo Wild Wings is also in jeopardy.
"We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts," they said.
His League co-stars are coming to his defense.
Comedian Mark Duplass tweeted:
As well as Katie Aselton, who is a co-creator of the show:
What @SteveRannazzisi did was super wrong, but If we were all held accountable for lies we told when we were none of us would be clean.— Katie Aselton (@duplaselton) September 16, 2015
I love @SteveRannazzisi and my heart goes out to him & his family. And my heart goes out to everyone he may have hurt. This sucks all around— Katie Aselton (@duplaselton) September 16, 2015
The League star is not the only person to ever claim to be a survivor of the World Trade Center attack.
A Spanish woman named Alicia Esteve Head said she was a survivor named Tania Head and claimed her boyfriend had died in the attacks. She even went on to become president of the World Trade Center Survivors' Network.
However, it was revealed in 2007 that she was actually in Barcelona at the time of the attacks and had never lost her boyfriend.
The news comes on a day when comedian Jon Stewart travelled to Washington to lobby congress to expand healthcare coverage for 9/11 first responders.
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