Comedian and "The League" star Steve Rannazzisi has admitted that he lied about escaping the Twin Towers 14 years ago during the attacks of 9/11.
In past interviews, the actor said he was working as an account manager at Merrill Lynch in the South Tower when the first tower was hit. According to an interview in 2009 with Marc Maron, he explained back then that he got to the streets before the second plane hit and before both towers collapsed.
"I worked on the 54th floor of the second tower," he told Maron, adding Port Authority told his co-workers "everything's being taken care of" and to remain where they were on that day. He said he didn't listen and left the building. In his descriptive story, Rannazzisi even describes where he was standing when the second plane hit.
After the New York Times reported some inconsistencies in his story and that he was actually working in midtown, Manhattan, far away from the 9/11 site near Battery Park, his publicist released a statement. The Times also reported that he never worked for Merrill Lynch.
"As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough,” the statement, also sent to ABC News read. "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," he added.
In other interviews, Rannazzisi had used his account from the attacks as a reason to go full-fledged into comedy and entertainment.
The Times also spoke to Buffalo Wild Wings, the restaurant chain that made the actor the face of its recent NFL campaign.
"We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001,” the chain told the Times, adding they are "re-evaluating" their relationship with the comedian.
Rannazzisi added in his statement that for years, he wished that silence "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," he added.
The comedian also tweeted his comments to his fans.
not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake.— Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
Meanwhile, Comedy Central released a statement, saying the network was also disappointed. Rannazzisi has a special "Breaking Dad" airing on Saturday on Comedy Central.
"We just learned about this last night. We are very disappointed to hear about Steve's misrepresentations and are currently determining how we will move forward," the network said.