Speaking on his program Monday night, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel tore into football player and noted conspiracy theorist Aaron Rodgers following claims about Kimmel's potential connection to a list of associates of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Last week, Rodgers speculated about individuals who might be mentioned in the unsealed Epstein documents, jokingly naming Kimmel as someone who should hope the names are not disclosed, prompting Kimmel to threaten legal action because Rodgers' "reckless words put my family in danger."
After the documents were unsealed and Kimmel was nowhere to be found among the documents, the host went all in on Rodgers during Monday's monologue, devoting a full 7 minutes to eviscerating the Jets quarterback.
Kimmel explained during his show:
"And then it did come out and of course my name wasn’t on it and isn’t on it and won’t ever be on — I don’t know Jeffrey Epstein, I’ve never met Jeffrey Epstein, I’m not on the list, I wasn’t on a plane or an island or anything ever and I suggested that if Aaron wanted to make false and very damaging statements like that that we should do it in court so he could share his proof with like a judge."
"Because, you know, when you hear a guy who won a Super Bowl and did all the State Farm commercials say something like this, a lot of people believe it. . . ."
You can hear what he said in the video below.
Kimmel then explained why Rodgers would come after him:
"Either he actually believes my name was gonna be on Epstein’s list, which is insane. Or the more likely scenario is he doesn’t actually believe that, he just said it because he’s mad at me for making fun of his top knot and his lies about being vaccinated."
"He’s particularly upset I think because I made fun of the fact that he floated this wacko idea that the UFO sightings that were in the news in February were being reported to distract us from the Epstein list. That was Aaron’s theory that he said, and I mocked [him].”
“So he saw that and maybe to retaliate, he decided to insinuate that I am a pedophile."
Rodgers is not at all as smart as he thinks, Kimmel observed:
“But here’s the thing, I spent years doing sports. I’ve seen guys like him before. Aaron Rodgers has a very high opinion of himself. Because he had success on a football field, he believes himself to be an extraordinary being."
"He genuinely thinks that because God gave him the ability to throw a ball, he’s smarter than everybody else. The idea that his brain is just average is unfathomable to him. We learned during COVID somehow he knows more about science than scientists." ...
“And by the way, I’m not one of those people that thinks athletes and members of the sports media should stick to talking about sports. I think Aaron Rodgers has the right to express any opinion he wants. But saying someone is a pedophile isn’t an opinion nor is it trash talk, sorry Pat McAfee."
Ultimately, Kimmel pointed out the key difference between himself and Rodgers: Unlike Rodgers, he doesn't make baseless claims—even against people he may not like:
“And as far as the ‘well, you say things about people all the time’ argument goes, yes, I do. It’s not the same. It’s not even close to the same. We don’t make up lies."
"In fact, we have a team of people who work very hard to work to sift through facts and reputable sources before I make a joke, and that’s an important distinction. A joke about someone. Even when that someone is Donald Trump."
"Even a person who lies from the minute he wakes up until the minute he’s smearing orange makeup on his My Pillow at night, even he deserves that consideration. And we give it to him, because the truth still matters."
"“And when I do get something wrong, which happens on rare occasions, you know what I do? I apologize for it. Which is what Aaron Rodgers should do. Which is what a decent person would do.
"But I bet he won’t. If he does, you know what I’ll do, I’ll accept his apology and move on. But he probably won’t do that.”
Kimmel's remarks prompted many to criticize Rodgers further for promoting a baseless conspiracy theory.
Court documents pertaining to associates of Epstein were unveiled to the public on Wednesday, revealing nearly 950 pages of material that feature notable figures like Donald Trump, Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton.
However, it's crucial to note that the presence of a name in these documents doesn't imply any accusations of misconduct in connection to Epstein. Many listed individuals were merely referenced in legal proceedings without allegations.
The release comprised a total of 132 documents on Friday, with 19 documents on Thursday and the initial 40 documents on Wednesday. These papers are part of a defamation lawsuit initiated by Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein, against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's longtime associate. The lawsuit was resolved in 2017. Epstein, awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges, died by suicide in a Manhattan jail.
Maxwell, convicted in 2021 for aiding Epstein's sex trafficking of minors, is serving a 20-year prison sentence with an appeal scheduled for March.