Comedian and ‘The League’ Star Steve Rannazzisi Admits He Lied About 9/11 Escape

Comedian Steve Rannazzisi, who is best known for his role on FX’s The League, has come clean about where he really was – or rather, was not – in New York on September 11, 2001.

The actor has previously said in multiple interviews that at the time of the attacks, he was working for Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the south World Trade Center tower, and fled just in time before the second plane hit. He used this alleged brush-with-death anecdote as the reason why he was inspired to pursue a career in comedy, and also claims it’s the reason why he moved to Los Angeles.

Now he’s admitted to fabricating the entire story, taking to Twitter to confess that he was actually in Midtown that fateful day. On top of it all, Merrill Lynch didn’t even have offices in the World Trade Center.

He tweeted his statement on Wednesday (Sept. 16), starting with:

Read his full statement below:

As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough. 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? it 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.

For example, in a past interview with Marc Maron, Rannazzisi said, “I was there and then the first tower got hit and we were like jostled all over the place. I still have dreams of like, you know, those falling dreams.” Rannazzisi’s second Comedy Central standup special comes out Saturday, Sept. 19.

Meanwhile, Rannazzisi currently stars in TV ads for Buffalo Wild Wings. In a statement to the Times on Tuesday, the restaurant franchise said, “We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001.” They are consequently “currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts.”

SNL star Pete Davidson, whose father was one of the firefighters who was killed during the attacks, at first mocked Rannazzisi on Twitter and then later came to his defense after Rannazzisi reached out to personally apologize.