George Santos says Jimmy Kimmel scammed him & owes him $21,800

Jimmy Kimmel/George Santos
Jimmy Kimmel/George Santos Photo: Shutterstock

Disgraced former congressman George Santos claims Jimmy Kimmel owes him over $21,000 for Cameo videos the late-night host aired on his ABC show.

Almost immediately after being expelled from Congress earlier this month, Santos announced that he had joined the app through which fans can pay to have their favorite celebrities create personalized clips for them. Within 48 hours of joining the platform, he had reportedly lined up enough requests at $400 each to pay out more than his annual Congressional salary of $174,000.

And it turns out some of those requests were from Kimmel and his staff. On last Friday’s episode of Late Night, the host debuted a new segment, “Will Santos Say It,” featuring Cameo videos that the former congressman recorded in response to Kimmel’s absurd prompts. Kimmel said he’d sent the requests anonymously to see if Santos would actually make the videos, and he wasn’t disappointed. The host said he had about a dozen clips to parcel out on his show over the coming week.

But Santos was none too pleased to learn he’d been pranked. On Monday, he told The Spectator World that Kimmel’s team may have violated Cameo’s terms of service by purchasing the clips for personal use and then airing them on Late Night, which could be considered business use. Videos purchased via the platform for business use carry a higher fee and a limited license for use. According to Santos, Kimmel owes him “$21,800 and change.”

Santos said that he’s ready to take Kimmel to court if he doesn’t pay up. While Cameo has not commented on the claim, Santos, who has a well-documented history of lies and alleged fraud, told the outlet that the platform is supporting his effort to get Kimmel to pay him what he says he’s owed.

“He’s having fun at my expense but I’m laughing all the way to the bank,” Santos said of the late-night host.

“The idea that Mr. Santos would claim we shortchanged him and used credit card purchases improperly proves once and for all that the man is a comedy genius,” Kimmel told The Spectator in response to Santos’s claim.

On Monday night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host addressed the controversy in his opening monologue.

“Can you imagine if I get sued by George Santos for fraud? I mean, how good would that be? It would be like a dream come true,” he joked. “Since I started buying his videos, his rates went way up to $500 apiece. He should be thanking me for buying these videos.”

Undeterred, Kimmel aired two more clips from his “big stockpile” of Santos Cameos, including one addressing a fictional furry that has already gone viral.

Kimmel promised more videos from Santos throughout the week.

Santos said that he has already made over 500 Cameos and has over 400 outstanding requests at his new rate of $500. He claimed he’s now set to make $350,000 by the end of the month. But while he seems willing to oblige bizarre requests like those Kimmel and his team sent—as well as one from Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) drawing attention to his efforts to expel embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)—Santos claimed there are things he won’t say in Cameo videos.

“I’ve rejected over sixty Cameos because they just had outrageous s**t that money can’t make me say,” he said.

Santos said he refused to say “pro-Osama bin Laden stuff” because he “lived through 911 as a New Yorker.” (Santos notoriously claimed that his mother died as a result of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, which turned out to be a lie.) He also cited his “background” as the reason he refuses to “spew an ounce of antisemitism.” (Santos has claimed that he is Jewish. When that was exposed as a lie, he claimed that he meant he was “Jew-ish.”)

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