He then described himself fleeing to the street right before the second plane crashed into the south tower—a moment he said caused him to reevaluate his life, pick up and move to California with his girlfriend (now wife), Tracy Rannazzisi.
However, just days following the 14th anniversary of the tragic events, evidence that challenged the details of his account forced him to finally come clean in admitting he lied about the entire story.
“As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough,” he writes on his Twitter account. “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.”
In fact, Rannazzisi had been working in Midtown that day, and not for Merrill Lynch, which has no record of his employment and didn’t even have offices in either tower.
“I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable,” he continues. “I am truly, truly sorry. For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with silence, I 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?”
And thus, he concludes, “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. It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones. The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake.”
It’s unclear how news of his fraudulent story will affect his existing projects. The world premiere of his new Comedy Central series Breaking Dad is expected to premiere on Sept. 19, and he is currently involved in a sponsorship with Buffalo Wild Wings.
“We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of Sept. 11, 2001,” Buffalo Wild Wings said in a statement Tuesday night. “We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts.”