Feb 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Santos sues Jimmy Kimmel, alleging he misused Cameo videos

George Santos points his finger while smiling

Former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) speaks on Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) sued Jimmy Kimmel on Saturday over allegations that the TV personality tricked him into making videos on Cameo "for the sole purpose of capitalizing on and ridiculing" his personality.

The big picture: Santos — who was expelled from Congress in December over his many fabrications on the 2022 campaign trail and two federal indictments — is seeking statutory damages that add up to $750,000, per the court filing.

Details: Santos sued Kimmel — host of the late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" — over alleged copyright infringement, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

  • Santos also lists ABC and the Walt Disney Co. as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The lawsuit alleges that "unbeknownst to Santos, Kimmel submitted at least fourteen (14) requests for Cameo videos from Santos by providing phony names and narratives," which are described in the filing as "Fake Requests."

  • The lawsuit further claims that the "Fake Requests were sent from fake User profiles created by Kimmel as part of the fraud."
  • "By creating the fake User profiles and submitting the Fake Requests, Kimmel falsely represented himself as multiple different Users seeking Santos' personalized Cameo videos for personal use," the lawsuit alleges.

Context: Cameo videos from Santos were aired on Kimmel's show beginning in December in a segment titled "Will Santos Say It?"

  • According to the lawsuit, five of the Cameo videos were played on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and then posted on social media accounts for the show.
  • Santos previously sent Kimmel's show a cease and desist letter in December, after Kimmel declined the former congressman's request for $20K to use the videos.

Representatives for Kimmel's show did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment Sunday.

Go deeper: House Republicans have a George Santos hangover after losing his seat

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