Steve Rannazzisi, who stars on the FXX show "The League," apologized Wednesday for falsely claiming he escaped the World Trade Center on 9/11.
"I was not at the Trade Center on that day," he said in a statement provided by his publicist, The New York Times reported
. "I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry."
Rannazzisi was confronted this week with evidence that undermined his story, and chose to come clean.
In 2009, the standup comedian claimed in an interview that he was on the 54th floor of the south tower working a desk job for Merrill Lynch when the first plane hit the north tower.
"I was there and then the first tower got hit and we were like jostled all over the place," he said in an interview. He went into even more detail during a subsequent 2011 interview.
Rannazzisi said he fled to the street, and decided that life was too precious and short to not pursue one's dreams — prompting him to start down his path as a professional comedian.
Buffalo Wild Wings made Rannazzisi the face of one of its ad campaigns for March Madness, as well as the start of football season, and was soon notified of Rannazzisi's admission.
"We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001," the company said in a statement Tuesday. "We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts."
In addition to the publicist statement, Rannazzisi also apologized on Twitter
, where he offered his thoughts in a series of posts.
"As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough," he wrote. "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? [I]t 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."
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