For the first time, after more than a decade, Steve Rannazzisi, star of ‘The League, ‘ has opened to Howard Stern about the lie that cost him fans and an endorsement deal.
Rannazzisi outed by the New York Times for having lied about his escape from the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. The comedian appeared on The Howard Stern Show Tuesday to explain his reasoning and why he felt he couldn’t come clean.
How did it start?
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In an interview in 2009 he told this story: “I was sort of the party starter of Merrill Lynch, until our building got hit with a plane… And then the party ended right there. I still have dreams of like, you know those falling dreams, ” He said in 2009.
The 37-year-old admitted that once he started to use the story in order to become more loveable, things started to get out of control and that eventually there was no turning back.
“It’s not like I moved to Los Angeles with this story with the thought of ‘I’m going to go out and trick everyone, ‘” he told his host. “It wasn’t calculated at all. It’s as simple as ‘Hey you’re from New York? Were you just there?’ ‘Yeah, yeah I was downtown.’ ‘You worked there?'” he said.
“You have 15 seconds, I think, to kind of go ‘Wait, hold on, stop, I’m sorry, that’s not true.’ And if you pass that 15 seconds it’s sort of like, now it becomes a thing where you become the guy who is very strange and weird and just said I lied about 9/11, ” he said. “And Howard, when I tell you I truly in all of my heart wish I had that voice that I feel like I have now that said, ‘Hey man, take a breath, relax, people are going to like you, people are going to understand who you are when they get to know you. you don’t need to lie about that, take that back.'”
He said, “I know what I did was terrible, and I know that I hurt a lot of people — people that lost people, people that helped people survive. And those people are the people that I truly am sorry. I feel awful that my dumb mistake created a story that hit a wound that should never have been touched.”
Listen to him.