Comedian Steve Rannazzisi confessed Wednesday that he’s been lying for years about his whereabouts during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The star of FX’s The League issued a statement after his claims of narrowly escaping the World Trade Center came under scrutiny.
In an interview in 2009, Rannazzisi described working at Merrill Lynch as an account manager in the South Tower when the first plane struck the North Tower. “I worked in the 54th floor of the second tower,” Rannazzisi said. “I was there. The first tower got hit and we got jostled all over the place. Then the Port Authority came on the loud speaker, ‘Explosion in Tower 1, things are being taken care of, everyone remain where you are, stay calm, we’re figuring things out.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to check this thing out. I went downstairs, went outside, saw all the pandemonium, and then about five or six minutes later, ‘bang’ [the second tower was struck]…”
Rannazzisi said his escape from the attacks contributed to his decision to move from New York to Los Angeles, where he would pursue a career of becoming an actor and comedian.
“I still have those dreams of like, you know, those falling dreams?” he said.
But according to a detailed report in the New York Times, Rannazzisi was working in Midtown during the attacks, and not Lower Manhattan. In fact, he wasn’t even employed by Merrill Lynch, which didn’t have offices in either building of the World Trade Center.
Here is Rannazzisi’s full statement:
“As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough.
After I moved with my wife to Los Angeles from New York City in 2001 shortly after 9/11, I told people that I was in one of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. It wasn’t true. I was in Manhattan but working in a building in Midtown and I was not at the Trade Center on that day. I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry.
For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man. It only made me more ashamed. How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn’t come clean about this?
It is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them–and the people that love me–that I ask for forgiveness.”
Fellow comic Pete Davidson, whose firefighter father died on 9/11, tweeted that it “sucks” to read Rannazzisi’s story, but that the actor had apologized to the SNL featured player for his lies.
Katie Aselton, who costars with Rannazzisi on The League, also tweeted about the 37-year-old’s admission, writing that it “sucks all around.”
Aselton’s husband, Mark Duplass, who also stars on The League, also released a statement on Twitter, writing that Rannazzisi had made an “idiotic, hurtful mistake,” but was a “good friend” and “generous husband and father.”
The Times report has additional details about Rannazzisi’s history on this subject, and also notes that Rannazzisi has sponsor deals which may be impacted as a result of his fabrications. FX had no comment.
WANT MORE EW? Subscribe now to keep up with the latest in movies, television and music.