Today Jane Doe asked the New York State Supreme Court for leave to file an amended version of her lawsuit against Horatio Sanz and NBC next year, one that would add three new defendants: Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Fallon, and Lorne Michaels. If the court grants her motion, she will file the new complaint on March 1, 2023. That date marks the opening of a “lookback window” under New York City’s Gender-Motivated Violence Act, which allows the survivors of gender-based violence to sue not only their alleged abusers but also anyone who enabled their abuse—or any institution. A recent amendment to that law creates a two-year period in which survivors can file claims past the statute of limitation.
Jane Doe’s proposed amended complaint, available here, will maintain the claims against Sanz and NBC filed last year under the New York Child Victims Act. A new claim under the GMVA will allege that Sanz committed crimes of gender-motivated violence against her and that NBC, Fallon, Michaels, and Morgan enabled his crimes.
The proposed amended complaint paints a vastly more detailed portrait of the abuses Jane Doe suffered as a teenage Saturday Night Live fan than previous filings. It describes the email she received from Sanz and Jimmy Fallon when she was 15 years old and running an SNL fan page. It describes Lorne Michaels telling her that he read this fan page whenever he wanted to know where Fallon was. It describes Sanz flirting with her—kissing her cheek, resting his hand on her back—when they first met after a taping in 2000, when she was still only 15. It describes Sanz fantasizing over IM in 2006 that “the two of them would have sex while he sucked the blood out of little cuts he had made in her skin.” It describes the sexist culture that has defined SNL for decades: one where stars and executives laughed off Chris Farley’s propensity for harassing women; where Michaels surrounds himself with blonde assistants, one of whom (“18 years his junior”) he married; where female employees have long felt expendable; where multiple cast members and producers, including Michaels himself, have abused their power with impunity; and where it was well-known that underage girls attended after-parties and after-after-parties. As an NBC security guard allegedly told Jane Doe when he found her and her teenage friends roaming 30 Rock unsupervised, “You know what NBC stands for? Nobody cares.”
The proposed amended complaint also includes ample visual documentation absent in the original. There are photos of Jane Doe’s diary entries contemporaneously recording her interactions with Sanz. There are photographs she took both of and with Sanz, including one in a limo to an after-party and one at the after-party itself. There are photographs of autographs she received from Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey, who both allegedly knew of her from her fan site. When Doe introduced herself to Dratch after a taping in 2001, according to the proposed amended complaint, Dratch responded: “Oh my god, are you THE Jane?”
And then there are the alleged details, also revealed in the Daily Beast’s February interview with Doe, about who exactly witnessed her assault by Sanz at the May 11, 2002 after-after-party hosted by Tracy Morgan:
Crucially, as the proposed amended complaint notes, Sanz has already confessed. In 2019 he texted Doe that he “felt terrible” about what he did, mentioning “the Tracy party” specifically. “It was a fucking big mistake. I’m very sorry. If you want to metoo me you have every right,” he said.
“Sanz and his enablers lured Jane into their celebrity world and made her feel like a cool kid for drinking and partying with a bunch of famous grown-ups," said Doe’s attorney, Susan Crumiller, in a statement about today's filing. "Instead, they destroyed her life. Jane has spent the past two decades struggling with the repercussions of what they did to her; now it’s their turn. We look forward to holding NBC, Sanz, and everyone else who enabled this disgusting behavior accountable when the GMVA lookback window opens in March."
Sanz denied Jane Doe’s allegations through his attorney when she filed her lawsuit last year. Michaels, Fallon, and Morgan have yet to acknowledge the case.
Header image via YouTube/NBC.