George Santos Sues Jimmy Kimmel For Tricking Him Into Making Videos

Former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has filed a lawsuit against talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and ABC, alleging they deceived him into making embarrassing videos that were broadcast nationally.

In the suit filed Saturday, Santos claims Kimmel and his team used fake names to request personalized videos from him on the app Cameo. Santos says he was unaware these videos were meant to ridicule him on Kimmel’s late night show.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of copyright infringement, fraud, breach of contract and profiting from Santos’ image without consent. It seeks $750,000 in damages for five Cameo videos featured in the “Will Santos Say It?” segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

One clip showed Santos congratulating a purported competitive eater on consuming six pounds of beef in under 30 minutes. Santos’ lawyer acknowledged the videos were comedic but still violated copyright law.

Santos was expelled from Congress in December after an ethics investigation found evidence of criminal misconduct. He faces federal charges related to campaign finance violations and lying about his finances and background.

The former congressman has pleaded not guilty. Meanwhile, he alleges in this lawsuit that Kimmel exploited him without permission. The merits of the case and Santos’ claims of being deceived remain to be seen.

The suit pits Santos against a major media company in an unusual legal fight. But it underscores his efforts to push back against coverage portraying him negatively since his election last November.