'League' star Steve Rannazzisi apologizes for 9/11 claims - KMOV.com

'League' star Steve Rannazzisi apologizes for 9/11 claims

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Steve Rannazzisi arrives at Entertainment Weekly’s Pre-Emmy Party sponsored by L'Oreal Paris and Hearts On Fire at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision for Entertainment Weekly/AP Images) Steve Rannazzisi arrives at Entertainment Weekly’s Pre-Emmy Party sponsored by L'Oreal Paris and Hearts On Fire at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood, Calif. on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision for Entertainment Weekly/AP Images)

By Todd Leopold CNN

(CNN) -- Comedian and star of "The League" Steve Rannazzisi, who has often told the story of how he escaped from the World Trade Center on 9/11, now says he was not in the Twin Towers when the terrorist attacks happened and has apologized for his claims.

"As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough," he said, beginning a series of tweets.

"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," he continued.

"I don't know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry. ... (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."

The misrepresentations in Rannazzisi's story were revealed in an article in Wednesday's New York Times.

For years, Rannazzisi -- a native of Long Island -- has maintained he was working for Merrill Lynch on September 11, 2001, on the 54th floor of the South Tower. In actuality, according to The Times, not only was he not in the World Trade Center, he wasn't working for Merrill Lynch, which has no record of his employment.

In a 2009 interview with Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast, Rannazzisi told his story.

"The first tower got hit, and we were jostled all over the place," he told Maron. "I went downstairs walked outside, saw all pandemonium, and then five, six minutes later, bang," he said of the second plane hitting the South Tower.

From that point, he continued, he fled uptown.

Rannazzisi moved to Los Angeles shortly thereafter, where he was plucked from obscurity by Ashton Kutcher and became part of the group on Kutcher's MTV show, "Punk'd."

On the FX show "The League," which premiered in 2009, he plays Kevin, the commissioner of the program's fantasy football league.

Rannazzisi is also a spokesman for Buffalo Wild Wings.

"We are disappointed to learn of Steve's misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001," the chain said in a statement to The Times. "We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts."

Wednesday morning, many on social media reacted with shock and disgust.

"Dear Steve Rannazzisi, you're a monster," tweeted Doree Shafrir.

"This is pretty low," added Ed Malyon.

"Saturday Night Live's" Pete Davidson, who lost his firefighter father on 9/11, tweeted some sarcasm.

"It's ok @SteveRannazzisi people make mistakes ... Can't wait to meet my dad for lunch later," Davidson wrote.

When Rannazzisi thanked him, Davidson added, "I think you missed the point."

However, Davidson also noted, "All kidding aside this @SteveRannazzisi story sucks because he's actually a funny comic and I love The League."

Rannazzisi also had some support.

"I love @SteveRannazzisi and my heart goes out to him & his family. And my heart goes out to everyone he may have hurt. This sucks all around," tweeted Katie Aselton, one of Rannazzisi's "League" co-stars.

A comedy special starring Rannazzisi, "Breaking Dad," is scheduled to air on Comedy Central on Saturday night.

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