For the past year, former Saturday Night Live cast member Horatio Sanz has been part of a lawsuit in which an anonymous woman accused the comedian of sexual assault at a 2002 afterparty for the longtime NBC sketch comedy. On August 23, comedians Jimmy Fallon and Tracy Morgan, as well as SNL boss Lorne Michaels, were added to the suit, as Jane Doe’s attorney accused them of “enabling” the alleged assault.
The Pennsylvania woman who is suing Horatio Sanz and NBC was reportedly 17 years old at the time of the alleged incident, and according to the new court documents obtained by Deadline, she said Jimmy Fallon and Tracy Morgan were participants in the culture that enabled the assault, and that Lorne Michaels was aware that underage girls were often invited to the parties and served alcohol. The accuser’s attorney, Susan Crumiller, said:
According to the court filing, Jane Doe spoke to and hung out with Jimmy Fallon numerous times because of the comedian’s close friendship with Horatio Sanz during the period of time when Sanz was allegedly “grooming Jane.” Tracy Morgan reportedly hosted the “after-after party” where the alleged assault happened.
NBC filed a motion in April 2022 to dismiss the original complaint, saying (via IndieWire) the network was not responsible for Sanz’s actions off of the set and that it was not their duty “to protect third-persons from the possibility of sexual abuse by their employees.” Deadline reports that in response to the new documents filed August 23, the network said:
In response to the initial lawsuit, Horatio Sanz’s lawyer Andrew Brettler told TMZ that Jane Doe’s claims were “categorically false” and “ludicrous.” He further alleged:
Lorne Michaels created Saturday Night Live for NBC in 1975 and continues to produce the sketch comedy show, which wrapped its 47th season in May. Michaels has said he’d like to make it at least to Season 50 before possibly retiring.
While Jimmy Fallon left SNL in 2004 after six years, he is still an employee of NBC as host of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Tracy Morgan worked on Saturday Night Live from 1996 to 2003 and also starred in Tiny Fey’s sitcom 30 Rock, which aired on NBC and was based on her experiences as a writer on the sketch show.
Horatio Sanz was an SNL cast member from 1998 to 2006, when it was announced he was among staff who had been let go due to budget cuts. He returned for a couple of guest appearances in 2007.