Comedian Steve Rannazzisi says he lied about 9/11 escape

Sep 16, 2015 2:00 PM by CBS News

Comedian Steve Rannazzisi has finally come clean about his supposed escape from the Twin Towers on 9/11.

For the past several years, Rannazzisi told interviewers and audiences that the reason why he became a comedian was because he wanted to leave his corporate job after narrowly escaping death during the Sept. 11 attacks.

He said that he was working at Merrill Lynch in the south tower when the north tower was struck, reports the New York Times. He then ran out of his building just before the plane hit the south tower, and decided that life was too precious to spend at a desk, and pursued his dream of being an entertainer in Los Angeles, according to his account. He even claimed in a 2009 interview that he still had nightmares about being in the tower on Sept. 11.

Now, he's taking it all back. After facing evidence this week that his account was not true, Rannazzisi admitted through his publicist that he had lied on Tuesday. He apologized again on Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday, saying:

"As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough.

"After I moved with my wife to Los Angeles from New York City in 2001 shortly after 9/11, I told people that I was in one of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. It wasn't true.

"I was in Manhattan but working in a building in midtown and I was not at the Trade Center on that day I don't know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry.

"For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man. It only made me more ashamed.

"How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn't come clean about this? it is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them--and the people that love me--that I ask for forgiveness.

"It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones. The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake."

Rannazzisi has appeared on the FXX sitcom "The League," portraying fantasy football league player Kevin MacArthur. His other acting credits include appearances on "Love Bites" and "Daddy Knows Best."

He has a comedy special called "Breaking Dad" that is scheduled to air on Saturday on Comedy Central. The Times reports that his status with sponsors like Buffalo Wild Wings remains unclear.


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