Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, and Lorne Michaels Accused of Enabling Horatio Sanz in Grooming and Assaulting a Teen “SNL” Fan
An attorney for the accuser said that “Sanz and his enablers lured [her] into their celebrity world” and later “destroyed her life.”
“SNL” Stars Added to Lawsuit
A woman accusing former “Saturday Night Live” star Horatio Sanz of grooming and sexual assault amended her complaint to list comedians Jimmy Fallon and Tracy Morgan, as well as producer Lorne Michaels, as defendants in the suit for allegedly enabling Sanz.
The woman who filed the suit, identified as Jane Doe, says she was a superfan of “SNL” and was regularly invited to the show’s after parties between 2000 to 2002 after attending tapings of the program. Doe was a teenager at the time.
She claims that Sanz groomed her over the course of those years and groped her in front of several “SNL” cast members during a party in 2002 when she was 17. Later that night, she claims Sanz sexually assaulted her in a taxi.
The suit was first filed last year after the New York’s Child Victims Act new “lookback window” allowed for alleged victims like Doe to file suits for claims that old.
“Sanz and his enablers lured Jane into their celebrity world and made her feel like a cool kid for drinking and partying with a bunch of famous grown-ups,” Susan Crumiller, Doe’s attorney, told Deadline. “Instead, they destroyed her life. Jane has spent the past two decades struggling with the repercussions of what they did to her; now it’s their turn.”
Doe’s interactions with “SNL” cast members began after Fallon and Sanz sent her an email thanking her for making a fan page for the show.
According to the complaint, once she started getting invited to “SNL” after parties, she regularly drank with the comedians, who allegedly knew how young she was. The document outlines one 2001 party where Doe and Fallon allegedly discussed Doe’s SAT prep. Doe claims that Fallon remarked that she must have “a few years” before graduating.
An Alleged History of “Minimizing” Allegations
Doe says she was publicly groped at a party hosted by Morgan in 2002. She claims sex workers attended the party, and “no measures were taken” to prevent underage guests from attending or consuming alcohol.
According to the lawsuit, Doe and Sanz were making out in a room full of people when he began to place his hand on her crotch. Doe called that moment “her worse nightmare.”
“Jane glanced up to see that the majority of the SNL cast was gawking at her,” the suit says. “Worse, two of her lifelong idols, [Tina] Fey and [Rachel] Dratch, were not only staring directly at her, watching her being groped, but giggling excitedly with their hands over their mouths.”
The suit claims that Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph, and Ana Gasteyer also witnessed the groping. Rudolph and Gasteyer were allegedly visibly horrified by what was going on.
According to the complaint, Doe asked Sanz to “stop” and told him she wanted to leave the party, but he insisted to onlookers that “everything was fine.” At one point, Sanz allegedly took Doe’s breasts out of her shirt, revealing them to other partygoers.
Doe claims that Sanz eventually rode in a taxi on the way to the train station with her and began removing her clothes during the ride. At one point, he allegedly attempted to penetrate her with his fingers after she had passed out in the car.
When she later tried to approach Sanz about the incident, the suit claims that the comedian responded by saying, “Don’t worry, Jimmy [Fallon] doesn’t care if you’re a slut.”
She believes this party culture and alleged disregard for reckless behavior starts at the top.
“Michaels and SNL have a storied history of minimizing, disregarding, and/or burying sexual assault allegations,” the lawsuit says.
Sanz previously denied the allegations in the suit via his attorney, who called them “categorically false.” His attorney also claimed that before filing the suit, Doe “demanded $7.5 million in exchange for her silence.”
NBCUniversal, which was previously named as a defendant in the suit, has already filed a motion to dismiss it, claiming it is not responsible for what its staffers did off-set. Now that the suit has been amended, a spokesperson for the network told IndieWire that “regardless of Jane Doe’s changing narratives” the network would “renew its motion to dismiss.”
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (IndieWire) (The Wrap)
Max to Agrees to “Properly” Credit Writers and Directors After Facing Backlash For Lumping Them in As “Creators”
The company said the credits were laid out incorrectly due to “an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max.”
After film and television writers slammed Max for crediting all writers, producers, and directors as general “creators” on its platform, the company said it will be adjusting its credits display.
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streaming service said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Max — the new rebrand of HBO Max that incorporates Discovery content — launched on Tuesday to much criticism. Amid glitches and app-switching confusion, the biggest backlash it faced was over the choice to lump creative roles into one credit section called “creators.” As one viral tweet noted, if a user were to select the film “Raging Bull,” the service’s display would not specifically credit Martin Scorsese as the director, rather, his name would be included at random with half a dozen other people, including writers and producers.
The decision was condemned by many in the industry who argued it minimizes writers and directors by not properly giving them credit where it is due. Especially amid the ongoing writers’ strike, and with directors and actors starting negotiations with studios, some took it as a slap in the face.
“The studios don’t want anyone to know our names,” writer Christina Strain tweeted. “It’s easier to pay us nothing if we’re faceless.”
“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople. Miss me wit this nonsense,” Jorge Rivera, the Vice-Chair of the Writers Guild’s Latinx Writers Committee, added.
In a statement, Directors Guild President Lesli Linka Glatter said that Warner Bros. Discovery’s choice to “collapse” these roles into one credit “while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”
“The DGA will not stand for it,” Glatter continued.
WGA West President Meredith Stiehm claimed the move was “a credits violation,” as well as an insult “to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions.”
On Wednesday, Max said it would rework its crediting.
“We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake,” the platform said.
See what others are saying: (Gizmodo) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)
A Quarter of Young British Men Support Andrew Tate’s Thoughts on Women
U.K. residents at large, however, do not view him favorably.
Even under house arrest in Romania, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate still holds substantial sway over young men.
According to data from YouGov that was obtained by The Independent, 26% of U.K. men between 18 and 29 years old who know of Tate agree with his views on women. That figure was largely the same for men between 30 and 39, as 28% agreed with Tate’s opinions on the subject.
Men in their 30s were slightly more likely to agree with Tate on his thoughts about masculinity. Three out of ten supported those views, compared to just a quarter of men 18 to 29.
Those statistics only include the thoughts of men who have heard of Tate, but per YouGov, most have. In the 18 to 29 group, 93% were familiar with him, and 86% of men in their 30s knew of him.
The U.K. at large was less aware of Tate, with just 63% of British adults having heard of him. Of that group, only 6% held a positive view of him.
Tate has faced substantial backlash for his sexist rhetoric over the years. In the past, he said that men should have “authority” over their wives or girlfriends, and that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He was previously banned from Twitter over his extremist views on women but has since been allowed back on the platform.
He is currently being investigated in Romania for organized crime and human trafficking. He was arrested and held in custody in December but was released to house arrest earlier this year. No formal charges have been filed against him yet and he has maintained his innocence.
Tate currently boasts a Twitter following of 6.7 million. It has grown significantly since he was enveloped in legal controversy, and many of his supporters have demanded his release.
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Glamour U.K.)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in “Near Catastrophic” Paparazzi Chase
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a spokesperson for the couple said.
“Aggressive” Paparazzi Chase Couple in New York
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” paparazzi car chase Tuesday night in New York City, according to a spokesperson for the couple.
In a statement, the spokesperson described the photographers as “highly aggressive.”
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the statement added.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” it continued.
Details of the incident are still emerging, but BBC News reported that there are claims the chase involved roughly six cars driving recklessly by running red lights, driving on the sidewalk, carrying out blocking moves, going backward on a one-way road, and taking pictures while driving.
The chase happened after Harry and Meghan were leaving the Women of Vision Awards with Meghan’s mother, Doria. They did not want photographers to learn where they were staying and attempted to avoid them in what turned into a 75-minute chase on a main road in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They eventually ducked into a New York Police Department Precinct to hide out before getting into a different vehicle.
The NYPD released a statement confirming that they assisted in protecting the couple as “numerous photographers” hindered their transport. Officials said they made it to their destination and there were no collisions, injuries, or arrests.
The couple’s spokesperson is asking the public to not share or post footage of the incident.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” the spokesperson said.
Memories of Princess Diana
The chase evokes the brutal press hounding Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was subjected to throughout her life. The paparazzi’s obsession with her ultimately resulted in her death in 1997, when she was killed in a car crash after being chased by photographers in Paris.
Since marrying Meghan and later bowing out of the Royal Family, Harry has made it explicitly clear that he fears those events could happen again. Meghan has been the subject of endless tabloid scrutiny, enduring racism and harassment from the press. Part of the reason they left the Royal Family was to keep their family protected from such attacks.
Mayor Eric Adams brought up Diana’s tragic passing while speaking about Tuesday night’s chase.
“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died,” Adams said while speaking to reporters. “And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well…I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”
Adams also questioned whether or not he believes a chase could go on for two hours in a city as congested as New York, but noted that even a 10-minute chase would be dangerous. He said he will be briefed on the exact timeline and details later.