When Horatio Sanz signed a young fan’s Second City yearbook, he wrote two words: “Be cool.”
That phrase had allegedly come to define the comedian’s relationship with the teen, who filed a lawsuit against both Sanz and NBC in 2021. The woman, identified as “Jane Doe” due to her being underage when the alleged predatory interactions with Sanz took place, cites the comedian’s own written admission in her complaint. His exact words, according to the lawsuit: “If you want to metoo me you have every right.”
Jane also alleges in her lawsuit that Sanz sexually assaulted her when she was 17, first at an SNL afterparty and once more afterward.
Jane Doe’s Second City yearbook signed by Horatio Sanz
When she was in eighth grade, Jane—then an SNL and Jimmy Fallon superfan—joined the show’s online community, a web of message boards and fan sites for individual performers largely populated by teenage girls and young women. She alleges in her lawsuit that she had just turned 15 years old when Sanz and Fallon first emailed to thank her for creating a fan page in the current Tonight Show host’s honor.
Jane allegedly became a regular guest of Sanz’s at cast parties, where according to her lawsuit, SNL staff and performers observed her drinking and consuming drugs despite being underage. (She remembers Fallon once counseled her on the SATs and on another occasion suggested a college she might attend.) During their two decades of acquaintance, Jane says Sanz positioned himself as both an older brother figure and a sexual mentor. In multiple interviews with The Daily Beast, she recalled him telling her she was “SO COOL” for her age and asking for photos—requests that became increasingly explicit over time as Sanz allegedly used comedy to steer their conversations toward sex, according to the lawsuit.
When news first broke of her lawsuit, Jane felt dismayed by the way her complaint had been characterized. Most coverage seemed to focus on the lurid details surrounding her interactions with Sanz rather than the broader culture at SNL that allegedly allowed his behavior to go unchecked. Sanz, she…