The New York Times revealed that he had faked the story after the actor came clean in a statement to the paper.
More: 8 Powerful 9/11 Quotes
His full apology read, "As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough. 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. 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? 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."
Rannazzisi didn't just tell the lie as a young man, but perpetuated it for years to come.
In a 2014 interview on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, the actor told the story once again. "I was there, and then the first tower got hit, and we were jostled all over the place... I went downstairs, saw all the pandemonium and then about five or six minutes later, bang... I called up to the office and there was pandemonium, like, 'We're on our way down, we're on our way down.' And I just started f***ing booking it."
Rannazzisi further claimed that he had "falling dreams" as a result of the event, which is what spurred him and his then-girlfriend, now his wife, to relocate to Los Angeles.
Not surprisingly, the Internet has not been kind to the actor.
@ENews I think it's horrible & disgusting to lie about something like that. It's a spit in the face to the real victims & survivors of 9/11— Rebecca Lynn (@lynnbeck1101) September 16, 2015
@SteveRannazzisi Swiping a candy bar is a mistake. What you did is a psychopathic lie. You should rot in hell.— John (@heaterman68) September 16, 2015
@SteveRannazzisi i sat in a meeting with you and you told that story with such conviction too. Making that up is pretty twisted dude.— Ronnie Barnhardt (@RonnieBarnhardt) September 16, 2015
Of course, many believe his apology was sincere and have pointed out that we all make stupid mistakes.
@SteveRannazzisi I am unfamiliar w/ your work & just read about this in ny times. we all wish we could have a moment back - forgive yourself— Rick Rosa (@RickRosaNYC) September 16, 2015
I want to commend @SteveRannazzisi for stepping up and telling the truth with humility. We all make stupid ego mistakes, brother. Well done!— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) September 16, 2015
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