While FXX’s “The League” chugs along during its seventh and final season, one of its principal actors is finding himself in some very serious hot water. It turns out that actor and comedian Steve Rannazzisi has been caught lying about narrowly escaping the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Previously, the 37-year-old comedian has frequently attributed his success to the life-changing experience he had on 9/11 in which he claims to have exited the second tower of the World Trade Center just moments before the second plane made contact. Unfortunately, according to the New York Times, when recently confronted with evidence that undermined his account of the events of that day, the comedian came clean and confessed that he had been lying about being so close to the twin towers on that tragic day.
“I was not at the Trade Center on that day,” he said in a statement to the Times, provided by his publicist Matthew Labov. “I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry.”
Rannazzisi, whose Comedy Central special “Breaking Dad” is set to premiere on Sept. 19, recounted his story in detail on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast in 2009. According to him, he was working at Merrill Lynch’s offices on the 54th floor of the south tower when he both heard and felt the first plane hit the north tower. He says he fled into the street just before the second plane hit. That’s when he claimed that he took off running from the scene back to his apartment in Brooklyn. While standing on the roof “smoking a joint” with his then girlfriend, who he says was supposed to be at the World Trade Center that day as well, he claimed that they both decided right then and there to make the move to Los Angeles so he could pursue a career in acting and comedy.
Sadly, it’s been revealed that he never worked for Merrill Lynch, which had no offices in either tower. He was working in Midtown that day and his girlfriend was never supposed to be working in the south tower, although her work schedule for the day would have put her dangerously close to the attacks downtown.
On Wednesday, Sept. 16, shortly after he was forced to release a statement to the press, the comedian took to Twitter to personally apologize to anyone he may have offended with his story. In a series of nine tweets “The League” actor apologized profusely for any offense his lie may have caused. Overall, he says the lie was the act of a young man tasting fame and recognition for the first time and he’s been carrying it ever since.
it is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them--and the people that love me--that I ask for forgiveness.
— Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
Here is his full apology from Twitter:
“As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough. After I moved with my wife to Los Angeles from New York City in 2001 shortly after 9/11, I told people that I was in one of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. It wasn’t true. I was in Manhattan but working in a building in midtown and I was not at the Trade Center on that day. I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry. For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man. It only made me more ashamed. How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn’t come clean about this? It is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them -- and the people that love me -- that I ask for forgiveness. It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones. The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake.”