Former Congressman George Santos Sues Jimmy Kimmel for Hilarious Cameo Video Debacle

In a lawsuit filed on Saturday, former U.S. Rep. George Santos accuses late-night host Jimmy Kimmel of deceiving him into creating Cameo app videos, later used to mock him on the show.

George Santos and Jimmy Kimmel
George Santos sues Jimmy Kimmel.

In a legal complaint lodged last Saturday, former U.S. Representative George Santos has leveled allegations against late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, contending that he was duped into creating videos on the Cameo app, which were subsequently used to ridicule him on Kimmel’s show.

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The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. district court for the southern district of New York, identifies Kimmel, ABC, and Walt Disney Co. as defendants. Santos asserts a range of legal claims, including copyright infringement, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment.

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The crux of Santos’ argument is that Kimmel misrepresented himself to coax Santos into producing personalized videos that capitalized on and lampooned his “gregarious personality.” These videos were created in response to requests received through the Cameo app, where users pay for personalized messages. Unbeknownst to Santos, Kimmel allegedly submitted at least 14 requests using fake names and storylines, as detailed in the complaint.

The lawsuit contends that starting in December, these videos were showcased on a segment called “Will Santos Say It?” on Kimmel’s show. One notable example highlighted in the legal documents involves Santos offering congratulations to a purported winner of a beef-eating contest, lauding the consumption of 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms) of loose ground beef in under 30 minutes as “amazing and impressive.”

While acknowledging the humor in Kimmel’s fake requests, Santos’ attorney, Robert Fantone, insists that the actions were a clear violation of copyright law. Santos is seeking statutory damages amounting to $750,000 for the five videos that made it onto the show and various social media platforms. Additionally, he requests further damages to be determined during the trial.

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It’s worth noting that Santos, who was expelled from the House of Representatives last year due to multiple charges of fraud and misappropriation of funds from donors, is currently facing a slew of criminal charges. These include accusations of defrauding campaign donors, providing false information to Congress about his wealth, obtaining unemployment benefits while employed, and misusing campaign contributions for personal expenses, such as designer clothing.

Despite these charges, George Santos pleaded not guilty to a revised indictment in October. In a subsequent special election, Democrat Tom Suozzi emerged victorious, securing Santos’ former seat.

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