George Santos Takes Legal Action Against Jimmy Kimmel, Intensifying the Dispute

( – Whatever people might think of Rep. George Santos (R-NY), one thing is undeniable — he could attract attention to himself during his short-lived political career. Controversy surrounded his 11 months in office, and the House eventually voted to expel him by a margin of 311 to 114. Recently, he’s been spending his days feuding with Jimmy Kimmel. A recent news report revealed that he decided to take things to the next level by taking legal action against the late-night host.

On February 17, The Associated Press reported that Santos filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Kimmel, the American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (ABC), and the network’s parent company, Walt Disney. The 14-page civil complaint accused the defendants of deliberately deceiving him, “under the guise of fandom,” into providing “personalized videos” and airing them across social media platforms and national television for “commercial gain.”

In short, Santos accused Kimmel of deceiving him by purchasing customized videos from him on the former congressman’s Cameo account. The lawsuit claimed Kimmel provided “phony names and narratives” to get Santos to make at least 14 videos he would later use to mock him during a series of “Will Santos Say It?” aired on his late-night program on ABC.

Additionally, those clips were posted on ABC’s social media sites, where millions of followers could view them. For example, the network’s YouTube page has more than 19 million followers, and Instagram has 5 million. The company’s X/Twitter and TikTok accounts have two million and more than 1.3 million, respectively.

The complaint explained that Cameo’s available licenses don’t allow purchasers to publicly air them without permission. According to the app’s terms of service, the “talent” making the clips is the sole owner of that material.

The complaint lists four counts: copyright infringement, fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Santos is seeking a temporary and permanent court order “enjoining and restraining” the defendants from continuing to misuse the videos and “creating derivative works.” He is also asking for $150,000 in damages, attorney fees, and any other relief the court deems fair and equitable.

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