Steve Rannazzisi is seeking professional help and spiritual guidance after admitting he lied about escaping the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Appearing on “The Howard Stern Show” Tuesday in his first interview since news of his tall tales broke, the star of “The League” explained how the lie developed in “waves” while he was pursuing a standup career in LA and snowballed as his career gained momentum.
“To be honest with you, it was a completely out of the blue situation,” Rannazzisi, 38, explained of the lie’s beginnings. “It wasn’t calculated.”
Rannazzisi, who spoke to Stern for 40 minutes, continues to receive support from his wife, Tracy – who for years went along with the fictitious story – and has sought spiritual guidance from his brother, who is a priest.
“My wife is incredibly loyal to me and my family – she’s the light to me,” he said.
In addition to going to couples’ therapy with Tracy, Rannazzisi has been seeing a psychiatrist “for years” on his own, but only admitted the lie to his therapist after the New York Times exposed him in September.
“I didn’t know what co-dependency was before a year ago; I didn’t know what narcissism was; I didn’t know a lot about myself,” the comic admitted.
The actor – who quickly lost a sponsorship deal with Buffalo Wild Wings as a result of the backlash – told Stern he’s relieved not to have to maintain the deceitful tale any longer.
“The relief is I don’t have to live with the lie anymore,” he explained. “But it does come with a lot of feelings of embarrassment and being ashamed.”
Stern, 61, commended Rannazzisi for publicly addressing his wrongdoing.
“I hope things work out and people are able to give you some forgiveness,” said the talk show host. “My inclination would be to just f---ing hide in the house and never come out again.”