Not Laughing: George Santos Sues Jimmy Kimmel For 'Deceiving' Him Into Making Cameo Videos

Disgraced former New York Rep. George Santos is taking his beef with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel to federal court.

Former New York Rep. George Santos (left) and Jimmy Kimmel.

Former New York Rep. George Santos (left) and Jimmy Kimmel.

Photo Credit: Facebook user George Santos / Wikimedia Commons user PascalHD

In a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York on Friday, Feb. 16, the ex-Republican lawmaker accused Kimmel of copyright infringement and fraud for a series of personalized videos the talk show host commissioned from him on the website Cameo.

The 35-year-old Santos began selling video shout outs on the site following his historic ouster from Congress amid federal criminal charges.

Kimmel caught wind of the gig and, using various fake names, ordered over a dozen videos from Santos that aired on his ABC show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

In one Cameo that aired in December 2023, Kimmel used the name “Chris Cates” and asked Santos to congratulate his friend on winning the Clearwater Florida Beef Eating Contest.

“He ate almost six pounds of loose ground beef in under 30 minutes – which was a new record!” Kimmel wrote in his request. “He’s not feeling great right now, but the doctor thinks he will be released from the hospital soon.”

Another video sees Santos congratulate “Uncle Joe’s” legally blind niece on passing her driving test.

In his lawsuit, Santos claims Kimmel misrepresented himself and his motives “for the sole purpose of capitalizing on and ridiculing” his “gregarious personality.”

He also claims that Kimmel violated Cameo’s terms of service, which reportedly prohibit users from broadcasting videos on national television.

“Kimmel not only boasted about intentionally deceiving Plaintiff, but played on the comedic irony of possibly getting sued by Plaintiff for fraud, claiming that it would be a ‘dream come true,’” the lawsuit continues.

“Kimmel’s invitation of the instant lawsuit highlights the Defendants’ brazen disregard for the fact that their ‘prank’ violated the law.”

Friday’s court filing came a month after Kimmel told his audience that Santos had demanded $20,000, plus the business rush rate, for commercially repurposing his content.

Addressing his threat of a lawsuit, Kimmel said, “It would be like a dream come true.”

Santos, who is also alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment, is demanding $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement plus additional damages.

The suit also names ABC and the network’s parent company, The Walt Disney Company. Neither Kimmel nor the media companies had publicly responded to the lawsuit as of Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Click here to view the full complaint.

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