Former Saturday Night Live star Horatio Sanz denied the allegations in a new lawsuit that claims he sexually assaulted a fan when she was a teenager. The victim claimed Sanz, 52, groped her during a Saturday Night Live party in May 2002. Sanz was a member of the SNL cast from 1998 to 2006 and recently starred in GLOW, The Mandalorian, and Duncanville.
The alleged victim, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, claims Sanz groped her breasts and butt, and digitally penetrated her without her consent during the 2002 party, reports TMZ. Doe claims this happened when she was 17 years old and in front of other NBC employees. She claims Sanz gave her alcohol during at a couple of SNL parties.
Doe claims she started talking to Sanz when she was 15 and running a SNL fan website. In the lawsuit, filed in Pennsylvania, she accuses Sanz of grooming her, being flirty and affectionate when they met in person. Their online conversations also took an “increasingly sexual nature,” Doe claims. She also says Sanz knew she was underage when she was allegedly sexually assaulted and NBC executives should have been aware. After the alleged assault, Doe says she became depressed and used “dissociative drugs” to self-medicate. She was also hospitalized for treatment. Doe lists Sanz, NBCUniversal and SNL Studios as the defendants.
In 2019, the woman says she met Sanz again during a New York City comedy event. He allegedly admitted to having “cybersex” with her and masturbating during their online conversations. He also allegedly told her via text messages that he felt sorry for his actions and was not the same person today. “[I] swear on a stack of improv books… I’m a different person,” Sanz allegedly told the woman, according to the lawsuit obtained by Page Six. “I had a real issue with sex. I was stunted. I didn’t know how it worked. I spent all my 20’s trying to be funny. So I wasn’t normal with girls.”
Sanz denied the allegations in a statement through his lawyer, Andrew Brettler. He called the allegations “categorically false” and “ludicrous.” According to Brettler, the woman “demanded” $7.5 million from Sanz in exchange for silence. “We, of course, refused and will vigorously contest these totally meritless claims,” Brettler told TMZ.
Sanz joined SNL in 1998 and was the first Hispanic cast member. He left in 2006, but returned to play Elton John and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson in 2007 episodes. He also appeared in the 2011 Christmas episode. Sanz recently appeared in two episodes of The Mandalorian and has a role in the upcoming Clifford the Big Red Dog movie.