George Santos sues Jimmy Kimmel over alleged misuse of Cameo videos

George Santos

NEW YORK — Former Rep. George Santos filed a civil lawsuit on Saturday against Jimmy Kimmel, alleging that the late-night television host used bogus names to request Cameo videos from the expelled congressman and then misused the clips on his show to ridicule him.

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The suit, filed on Saturday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, also includes ABC and Disney as defendants, Rolling Stone reported. The former Republican from New York alleges fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and copyright infringement, according to the magazine.

Santos alleged that Kimmel submitted at least 14 requests for clips on Cameo, a website where celebrities sell personalized video messages, Variety reported. Kimmel allegedly provided “phony names and narratives,” the lawsuit said. The lawsuit claims that he sent requests from “fake user profiles created by Kimmel as part of the fraud.”

“At the heart of this dispute lies the deliberate deception and wrongful appropriation of the Plaintiff’s digital content by the Defendants, orchestrated through the platform, where celebrities and public figures are meant to connect with their fans through personalized video messages,” the lawsuit states, according to Deadline.

Santos is seeking at least $750,000 in statutory damages, Rolling Stone reported.

A Disney representative listed as a media contact for the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” show did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Beginning in December, the videos were played on Kimmel’s show during the segment, “Will Santos Say It? " the AP reported.

In one of the clips, Santos congratulates a purported winner of a beef-eating contest, calling the feat of consuming 6 pounds of loose ground beef in under 30 minutes “amazing and impressive, according to the news organization.

“Frankly, Kimmel’s fake requests were funny, but what he did was clear violation of copyright law,” Robert Fantone, an attorney for Santos, said told the AP in an email.

The lawsuit adds that Kimmel joked about being sued by Santos during a Dec. 11 episode of his show, Rolling Stone reported.

“Could you imagine if I get sued by George Santos for a fraud,” Kimmel said at the time, Variety reported. “I mean how good would that be? It would be like a dream come true. So since I started buying his videos his rates went way up to $500 a piece. He should be thanking me for buying these videos.”

Court documents show that Santos is claiming that Cameo’s terms of service do not allow users and/or clients to air purchased videos on national television, according to Deadline.

On Dec. 1, Santos was expelled from the House in a 311-114 vote that saw 105 Republicans join 206 Democrats to oust him. He was sixth member in the history of the House to be expelled.

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