Did Horatio Sanz groom underage 'SNL' superfan? Woman alleges cast watched and did nothing
Comedian and former 'Saturday Night Live' star Horatio Sanz is the latest to be accused of sexual assault, by a woman who was underage when the incidents occurred. The unidentified woman has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court, alleging sexual assault and grooming during the 2000s. At the time, she was 17 and allowed to drink by Sanz, who also groped her and requested she sends lewd photos of herself.
Sanz, who until 2020 appeared in the Showtime drama 'Black Monday' is facing the heat just days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned over similar allegations. Another big name currently in trouble is Prince Andrew, who has been accused of assault by Virginia Roberts. In early August 2021, Roberts filed a lawsuit specifically naming the royal, which could spell further trouble for the embattled Royal Family.
Like Roberts, Sanz's accuser was reportedly underage at the time of the incidents. She makes several damning allegations against the comedian, which he has denied. Nonetheless, the case is now in court, and will likely give us an opportunity to learn the full truth. The victim has been identified only as Jane Doe, a resident of Pennsylvania who ran an SNL fansite back in 2002.
Warning: some details may be triggering to readers, discretion advised
Is Sanz guilty of grooming?
The allegations by the woman go back all the way to 2000 when she first met Sanz at a taping. At the time, she was only 15. In 2001, Sanz invited the plaintiff to several after-show parties where he allegedly allowed her to drink, touched her inappropriately, and told her "to sit on his lap." Then in August, he began reaching out to her via AOL Messenger. "Defendant Sanz continued his grooming process in this and other communications," the suit said.
The plaintiff says Sanz began leaking insider information about hosts and guests to her, which she would post on her website. Sanz also "steered conversations to discuss sex, sexual experiences, sexual activities, sexual fantasies, masturbation," and asked the girl to share explicit photos of herself. "In addition, during communications and in person, Defendant SANZ referred to Plaintiff as "slut", "slutty" and/or "bitch," the suit adds. The chats continued through 2001 and into 2002.
The suit also alleges that the plaintiff was invited to numerous parties, where she was allowed to drink and sexually assaulted by Sanz in front of SNL's cast. While none of the other cast members has been directly accused, the suit does name Jimmy Fallon as present and says he even interacted with the girl. The suit also added, "Defendant SANZ was not the only SNL cast member and NBC employee who openly preyed upon women and young girls. 56. For example, on September 30, 2001, another NBC employee and SNL cast member openly sexually harassed Plaintiff’s friend (17) at an SNL cast party."
"Plaintiff was never asked by anyone for identification before being served alcohol and, despite Plaintiff being underage, she was continually permitted by NBC employees to consume alcohol and attend the parties regularly, including on at least four occasions in winter and spring of 2002," the suit says. Then in 2002, Sanz reportedly took the girl on a limousine ride, which was followed by, and before, a party at an unidentified SNL cast member's loft. "Both at the parties and afterwards, Defendant SANZ intentionally touched the Plaintiff’s sexual or intimate parts for the purpose of degrading or abusing Plaintiff and/or for sexual gratification, including kissing her, groping her breasts, groping her buttocks, and digitally penetrating her genitals." All this took place in front of the SNL cast, who, the suit accuses of turning a blind eye. Reportedly, one member told Sanz, "Are you f------ serious?" But beyond that, they did little to intervene.
The incidents left the plaintiff suffering from depression, which led to hospitalization. She then ran into Sanz in 2019 at a comedy event, where he acknowledged the grooming and assault. Reportedly, Sanz admitted he "felt terrible about" hooking up with Plaintiff, and said he was "very sorry." Sanz also admitted to masturbating during their chats. "I was very immature and had very limited sexual awareness... I was a creep but a wounded creep. And I’ve tried to make amends since quitting drinking," he texted the plaintiff. Sanz added, "I’m very sorry. If you want to metoo me you have every right. Just believe me I’m not like that anymore." He also allegedly claimed "I was a small man that craved any attention," and "I had a real issue with sex. I was stunted. I didn’t know how it worked."
The damning allegations have been slammed by a spokesperson for Sanz. The representative told Page Six that the allegations were "categorically false." "Before filing this lawsuit anonymously, she demanded $7.5 million in exchange for her silence. We, of course, refused and will vigorously contest these totally meritless claims," the rep said. NBC and Jimmy Fallon have not yet responded to requests for comment. The plaintiff is seeking a jury trial "for general, compensatory, special, and punitive damages, in a sum which exceeds the jurisdictional limits of all lower Courts."