A Pennsylvania woman has filed a lawsuit against Saturday Night Live alumnus Horatio Sanz for, she says, grooming her beginning at age 15 before sexually assaulting her at age 17 after a 2002 cast party.
Sanz was a member of SNL’s cast from 1998 to 2006 and his accuser ran a fan site at the time. She claims Sanz and co-star Jimmy Fallon first contacted her in January 2000 from their NBC email accounts, at which point Sanz began grooming her by being “flirtatious” and “physically affectionate” with her, “kissing her cheek and putting his hands on her waist.”
Then in May 2001, the woman, then 17, claims Sanz invited her to an SNL afterparty where he gave her alcohol. She says approximately six to 10 people, including NBC employees, looked on as Sanz had her sit on his lap with “her legs positioned between his legs and his arm around her hips, waist, and buttocks.”
From then on, she says Sanz gave her tickets to the long-running sketch show and leaked information to her about upcoming hosts and musical guests to post on her website. Starting in August 2001, while she was still underage, the woman claims Sanz began to ask her for photos and sent her instant messages from his NBC office in which he “steered conversations to discuss sex, sexual experiences, sexual activities, sexual fantasies, masturbation.”
In these conversations, she says he discussed sex acts in a manner that degraded her, including calling her a “slut” and “slutty.” The suit claims this behavior legally qualifies as “use of a child in a sexual performance” according to the New York penal code.
Finally, in May 2002, Sanz’s accuser says he took for a ride in a limousine where he “digitally penetrated her genitals.”
According to the complainant, when she ran into Sanz as an adult at a 2019 party, he admitted she had a valid “MeToo,” complaint against him and promised he was, by then, “a different person.”
“I had a real issue with sex. I was stunted. I didn’t know how it worked. I spent all my 20’s trying to be funny,” Sanz allegedly said, “So I wasn’t normal with girls.”
The woman also alleges NBCUniversal and SNL “permitted and enabled” Sanz to groom and to “ultimately significantly harm her.” She also claims Fallon knew she was still in high school and did not act to prevent Sanz’s predatory behavior.
Sanz representative Andrew Brettler said the accusations are “categorically false” and claimed the complainant is simply out for a payday.
“However often she repeats her ludicrous allegations or tries to rope in other high-profile names to generate media attention, they will always be false,” he said. “Before filing this lawsuit anonymously, she demanded $7.5 million in exchange for her silence. We, of course, refused and will vigorously contest these totally meritless claims.”
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