Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz on Saturday Night Live
A new lawsuit filed on Thursday with the State of New York alleges horrifying and predatory actions of a former cast member at NBC’s Saturday Night Live against an underage girl — and the appearance of complicity among his associates.
The unnamed plaintiff alleges that comedian Horatio Sanz “groomed” her, starting at the age of 15, and repeatedly sexually assaulted her after she attended multiple SNL cast parties. The allegations include digital communications purported to be between Saenz and the teenager obtained by law enforcement.
🚨BREAKING: Lawsuit against fmr SNL Cast Member reveals NBC & SNL "created an environment" permitting repeated sexual harassment of a young girl
— Julian Conradson (@JCConradson) August 14, 2021
According to court documents, the SNL “super-fan” teen would regularly post on a fan page that was read by SNL cast members which allowed Sanz to gain access to her. She was first contacted by Sanz, who was 31 at the time, in January 2000 via his work email account as he sat in NBC offices with Jimmy Fallon. By October of that year, he had lured her to meet him in person for the first time.
“In January, 2000, Defendant SANZ and co-cast member Jimmy Fallon emailed Plaintiff (then 15) from an NBC email account. Thereafter, Defendant SANZ began his process of grooming Plaintiff.
On or about October 7-8, 2000, Plaintiff (15) and Defendant SANZ met in person at NBC after an airing/taping of Saturday Night Live, during which SANZ (31) was flirtatious and physically affectionate with the then 15-year old Plaintiff by kissing her cheek and putting his hands on her waist.
After a few more meet-ups, Sanz brought the plaintiff to several after-show parties where he and other staff members, who allegedly knew the girl was underage, allowed her to drink. His associates watched and said nothing as Saenz touched her inappropriately and told her “to sit on his lap,” according to the lawsuit.
On or around May 19, 2001, Plaintiff (16) was again permitted by SNL cast members to attend an after party of NBC and SNL Studios within NBC studios where she was shown around the facility.
On this date, while in the SNL offices, Defendant SANZ was sitting on a couch telling stories to a group of approximately 6-10 people, including NBC employees, when Defendant SANZ signaled Plaintiff over and guided her to sit on his lap with her legs positioned between his legs and his arm around her hips, waist and buttocks where he continued to tell stories.
The lawsuit recounts an especially damning exchange involving Jimmy Fallon and SNL creator Lorne Michaels. In 2001, at a late night afterparty, they both spoke with the teenager as they partied in a VIP area.
It stretches credulity to suggest they didn’t know she was too young to be drinking, let alone be in the orbit of a seemingly predatory older man. It is alleged that she specifically told Fallon that she was in high school which prompted the entire group to discuss her upcoming junior year SAT test.
On November 17, 2001, Defendant SANZ put Plaintiff on his guest list for the SNL after party for that night, as he would continue to do. Plaintiff sat with Jimmy Fallon and others in a VIP area, ordered and consumed a Budweiser beer in the presence of NBC/SNL employees. Plaintiff sat with Jimmy Fallon and they shared calamari.
At the party, Plaintiff told Jimmy Fallon she was in high school to which he commented: “So you have a few years before you graduate” and asked Plaintiff what she intended to study in college. They also discussed Plaintiff’s upcoming SAT. The people seated at the table became very quiet when Plaintiff disclosed she was a junior in high school.
At the party, Fallon also introduced Plaintiff to show producer Lorne Michaels and they discussed Plaintiff’s Jimmy Fallon website.
Plaintiff was never asked by anyone for identification before being served alcohol and, despite Plaintiff being underage, she was continually permitted by NBC employees to consume alcohol and attend the parties regularly, including on at least four (4) occasions in winter and spring of 2002
Alleged by the lawsuit, Sanz was just one of many at the show who “preyed upon” young girls in the culture created at SNL that allowed them to “openly” sexually harass their victims. Multiple underage girls, not just the plaintiff in this case, were allegedly told to stay silent after their assault.
“Defendant SANZ was not the only SNL cast member and NBC employee who openly preyed upon women and young girls.
For example, on September 30, 2001, another NBC employee and SNL cast member openly sexually harassed Plaintiff’s friend (17) at an SNL cast party.
For example, Plaintiff was warned to stay away from another SNL cast member/NBC employee because he sexually assaulted and/or sexually harassed multiple friends of Plaintiff.
Defendant SANZ told one of Plaintiff’s friends to stop telling people about her assault by a fellow cast member.
Defendants SNL and NBC had actual knowledge of the sexual abuse perpetrated by SANZ against Plaintiff, in that, Defendants’ employees directly witnessed grooming and sexual misconduct perpetrated by Defendant SANZ against Plaintiff.
Further, Defendants SNL and NBC created an environment which permitted the sexual harassment and assault committed by Defendant SANZ by failing to supervise or monitor its employees and staff, by failing to intervene or investigate acts of sexual abuse perpetrated upon minors by employees, and by failing to contemporaneously report the abuses to law enforcement.”
Sanz’s list of alleged actions involving a minor include “kissing her, groping her breasts, groping her buttocks, and digitally penetrating her genitals forcibly and without consent.”
The victim was traumatized by the abuse and went into severe depression afterwards eventually, requiring hospitalized to handle the trauma.