Former Congressional Rep. George Santos (R-NY) filed a lawsuit against late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on Saturday, alleging that the comedian tricked him into making videos that were later used to mock him during a recurring segment on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The lawsuit also names ABC and the Walt Disney Company as defendants.

According to the suit filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Kimmel committed copyright infringement and multiple forms of fraud against Santos via the celebrity video messaging app Cameo. Santos first joined the app in early December, just after a bipartisan vote ousted him from the House of Representatives over a string of corruption charges. At the time, Kimmel openly admitted to using fake names to submit increasingly ridiculous requests for at least 14 video messages, which he then aired in a nightly segment called “Will Santos Say It?”

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Former Rep. George Santos filed a lawsuit against late-night host Jimmy Kimmel for tricking him into making videos used to mock him in a recurring TV segment. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

In one of the five clips that aired on Kimmel’s show, for example, Santos was asked to congratulate the winner of a “ground beef eating contest” for consuming six pounds of loose beef in under 30 minutes. Santos’ lawsuit claims that the segment “capitalized on and ridiculed” the disgraced congressman’s “gregarious personality,” which also violated Cameo’s copyright guidelines by using video messages for profit.

The suit seeks $750,000 from Kimmel, as well as ABC and parent company Disney for copyright infringement, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Santos had previously sent a request for $20,000 in exchange for using the videos, followed by a cease and desist when the request was denied.

“Frankly, Kimmel’s fake requests were funny, but what he did was clear violation of copyright law,” Santos attorney Robert Fantone told the Associated Press.

In an X post addressing the lawsuit, Santos insisted that he is standing up for himself and “fighting to uphold my legal rights.”

“Jimmy boy thought he could use fraudulent means to violate my copyrights and now he’s going to face the consequences,” Santos wrote. “It’s really that simple. My legal case is unassailable, there’s no question I am in the right.”

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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