A woman who is suing former “SNL” star Horatio Sanz for sexual assault asked the court’s permission on Tuesday to add Jimmy Fallon, Lorne Michaels, and Tracy Morgan as defendants, arguing that they enabled Sanz’ misconduct.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, alleges that Sanz “groomed” her when she was a teen fan of the show. She also alleges that Sanz kissed her, groped her, and attempted to digitally penetrate her at a party in May 2002, when she was 17 years old.
She filed suit in August 2021 under a state law that opened a two-year “lookback window” allowing victims of child sex abuse to bring claims that otherwise would have been barred by the statute of limitations. More recently, New York City amended its own law to create a two-year lookback window, allowing accusers to sue anyone who enabled such conduct.
According to the complaint, the accuser and her teenage friends regularly attended “SNL” after-parties in 2000 to 2002. The suit alleges that Fallon and Sanz would drink with her at these parties, and that Fallon once questioned her about her age, and she responded that she was a junior in high school. She also met Michaels at one of the parties, who gave her advice on pursuing a writing career, according to the complaint.
The suit alleges that Morgan rented out a space for an after-after-party in May 2002, where Sanz allegedly groped her against her will.
Sanz’ lawyer, Andrew Brettler, has denied the allegation, saying that the woman sought a $7.5 million payout before filing the suit last year.
The original complaint was filed by attorney Jeffrey P. Fitz, naming Sanz and NBCUniversal as defendants. Fitz also alleged that 18 NBCU employees either knew or should have known of Sanz’ grooming and sexual misconduct, including Fallon, Morgan and Michaels, as well as numerous other “SNL” cast members.
NBCUniversal filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in April, arguing that the network was not responsible for Sanz’ off-hours conduct.
“Employers owe no general duty to protect third-persons from the possibility of sexual abuse by their employees,” the network’s lawyers wrote.
Doe hired a new lawyer, Susan Crumiller, in June. Crumiller notified the court of her intent to amend the complaint, which rendered the motion to dismiss moot. Crumiller is seeking a hearing on Sept. 8 to obtain permission to file the amended version, adding Fallon, Michaels and Morgan as defendants.
An NBC spokesperson said the network would again seek to have the suit thrown out.
“Regardless of Jane Doe’s changing narratives, NBC intends to renew its motion to dismiss,” the spokesperson said.
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