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Former Rep. George Santos sues Jimmy Kimmel, accuses him of misusing Cameo videos

Former Rep. George Santos sues Jimmy Kimmel, accuses him of misusing Cameo videos

Kimmel provided “phony names and narratives,” the lawsuit says, and sent “fake requests … from fake user profiles created by Kimmel as part of the fraud.”

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) outside of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.,  on Nov. 30, 2023.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former Rep. George Santos filed a civil lawsuit against Jimmy Kimmel on Saturday accusing the late-night television host of using fake names to request Cameo videos from the former lawmaker and then misusing them on his show.

Santos sued Kimmel for copyright infringement, fraud, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. He is seeking at least $750,000 in damages.

Santos said in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that Kimmel submitted at least 14 requests for clips on the site Cameo, where celebrities sell short personalized video messages.

Kimmel provided “phony names and narratives,” the lawsuit says, and sent “fake requests … from fake user profiles created by Kimmel as part of the fraud.” The lawsuit was first reported by the New York Post.

It says that Kimmel “chose the personal use licenses for all the Cameo videos with the intention to violate such licenses by broadcasting and commercially exploiting the Cameo videos on national television.”

Jimmy Kimmel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Oct. 18, 2023.Randy Holmes / ABC via Getty Images

Representatives for Kimmel did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday. NBC News also reached out to ABC and Disney, both named as defendants, for comment.

The lawsuit says that Kimmel began using the videos on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in December, telling his audience that Santos had “a new gig making videos on Cameo for $400 a pop” and that Kimmel could not resist sending him “ridiculous requests.” Some of the videos were played during a segment titled “Will Santos Say It?”

During a Dec. 11 episode of the show, Kimmel joked about possibly getting sued by Santos, according to the lawsuit.

“Could you imagine if I get sued by George Santos for a fraud? I mean how good would that be? It would be like a dream come true,” Kimmel said, according to the suit. “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.”

Kimmel then played two more of the videos, the suit says.

A lawyer for Santos sent Kimmel a cease-and-desist letter on Dec. 12 and demanded that the videos be removed from YouTube and TikTok accounts associated with the show.

Diana Dasrath

Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.

Minyvonne Burke

Minyvonne Burke is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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