The woman who previously indicted former SNL star Horatio Sanz asks the court to add Jimmy Fallon, SNL creator Lorne Michaels, and Tracy Morgan on her sexual assault case.
The lawsuit was initially filed in 2021 by an anonymous Jane Doe, who accused Sanz of sexually abusing and grooming her when she was a teenager in the early 2000s. The lawsuit originally listed 20 unnamed SNL cast and crew members as co-defendants, with Doe accusing Sanz of “kissing her, groping her breasts, groping her buttocks, and forcibly digitally penetrating her genitals without permission” on a SNL afterparty “understanding attendees, including NBC staff.”
According to a statement from Doe’s attorneys, the amended complaint was made possible by changes to New York City’s upcoming Gender Motivated Violence Act (GMVA). The law — which comes into effect on March 1, 2023 — allows victims to sue both abusers and enablers, and will also include a two-year “loopback window” for expired claims.
Doe’s lawsuit was amended Tuesday to include a new ground for action under the GMVA alleging that Sanz’s alleged assault and battery were “crime.”[s] of violence” and “crime”[s] of violence motivated by gender” as defined by the new law. It also alleges that NBC, Michaels, Fallon, and Morgan “made possible Sanz’s crimes of sexual assault and violence,” and that NBC, Sanz, Michaels, Fallon, and Morgan “enabled each other’s crimes of unlawfully involving a child and endangering the welfare of a child.”
“Sanz and his mediators lured Jane into their celebrity world and made her feel like a cool kid to drink and party with a bunch of famous adults,” Doe’s attorney, Susan Crumiller, said in a statement. “Instead, they ruined her life. Jane has struggled for the past two decades with the consequences of what they did to her; now it’s their turn. We look forward to holding NBC, Sanz and everyone else who made this disgusting behavior possible accountable when the GMVA review window opens in March.”
Representatives of Fallon, Michaels and Morgan did not immediately return rolling stone‘s requests for comment. An NBC representative told: rolling stone that “Regardless of Jane Doe’s changing stories, NBC plans to renew its motion to dismiss.”
NBCUniversal tried to dismiss the complaint in April, claiming that they bear no responsibility whatsoever for Sanz’s behavior off-show. “Employers have no general obligation to protect third parties from the possibility of sexual abuse by their employees,” the network wrote at the time.
Sanz’s attorney Andrew Brettler had no further comment when contacted by rolling stone, but previously said that “this person’s claims about Horatio Sanz are categorically false. No matter how many times she repeats her ridiculous accusations or tries to use other high-profile names to generate media attention, they will always be false. Before filing this lawsuit anonymously, she demanded $7.5 million in exchange for her silence. We have, of course, declined and will vigorously dispute these totally undeserved claims. ”
In her lawsuit, Doe said she ran a Fallon fan site from 1999 to 2002, and that Fallon and Sanz emailed her from an NBC account in January 2000. SNL and first met Sanz in October 2000, wearing the suit that Sanz describes as “flirty and physically affectionate with the then 15-year-old … kissing her cheek and placing hands on her waist.”
The suit also contains allegations that Doe was allowed to attend another SNL after party in May 2001 where she was given alcohol even though she was a minor. She also claimed that Sanz began sending her online instant messaging in August 2001, asking for photos of Doe and “sending conversations to discuss sex, sexual experiences, sexual fantasies, and masturbation.” The aforementioned allegation that Sanz groped her at an afterparty is said to have taken place in May 2002.
Additional reporting by Cheyenne Roundtree