The drama between Jimmy Kimmel and Aaron Rodgers continues to drag on, with the quarterback refusing to apologize after he suggested that the talk show host’s name will eventually surface on the list of Jeffrey Epstein’s associates.
Rodgers returned to ESPN’s The Pat McAfee Show Tuesday, reports the Washington Post, apparently doubling down on debunked COVID conspiracy theories and refusing to apologize to Kimmel.
“I said that a lot of people, and I’m quoting myself here, ‘a lot of people — including Jimmy Kimmel — are really hoping that [list] doesn’t come out,’ end quotes, that’s what I said,” Rodgers told McAfee.
“I was referring to the fact that if there is a list — which, again, this hasn’t come out yet, this was just a deposition — and there are names on it, then that would be the second time that a soft brain, junior college student, you know, wacko anti-vax, antisemite, purveyor, spreading misinformation, conspiracy theorists, MAGA — whatever other things have been said by him and other people in the media — would be right twice.”
Last week, Rodgers, 40, made the claim about Kimmel , 56, during a guest spot on McAfee’s show.
Rodgers said there are many people, “including Jimmy Kimmel,” who do not want the contact list belonging to Epstein to be publicly released.
“I’ll tell you what, if that list comes out, I’ll definitely will be popping some sort of bottle,” added Rodgers, who appeared to be sitting inside a wine cellar.
Kimmel responded, taking to X to re-share the clip and deny he’s ever met Epstein.
“Dear Aasshole [sic]: for the record, I’ve not met, flown with, visited, or had any contact whatsoever with Epstein, nor will you find my name on any ‘list’ other than the clearly-phony nonsense that soft-brained wackos like yourself can’t seem to distinguish from reality,” Kimmel wrote.
“Your reckless words put my family in danger. Keep it up and we will debate the facts further in court.”
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Kimmel also laced into the New York Jets player during his Monday night monologue on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!
“Either he actually believes my name was going to be on Epstein’s list — which is insane — or the more likely scenario is he doesn’t actually believe that and he just said it because he’s mad at me for making fun of his top knot and his lies about being vaccinated,” Kimmel said in his lengthy rant, where he also called Rodgers “hamster-brained” and joked the two ‘A’s’ on his report card were “both in the name Aaron.”
“It might be time to revisit that concussion profile, Aaron,” Kimmel said.
McAfee also issued an apology to Kimmel last week, saying Rodgers’ comment about Epstein’s list was a “a s—t talk joke that can then become something that is obviously a very serious allegation.”
“Some things, obviously, people get very pissed off about, especially when they’re that serious allegations. So, we apologize for being a part of it,” he said. “I can’t wait to hear what Aaron has to say about it. Hopefully those two will just be able to settle this, not court-wise, but be able to chit chat and move along.”
On Tuesday, Rodgers seemed to walk back his comments but stopped short of issuing an apology.
“Any type of name calling is ridiculous and I’m not calling him (a pedophile), and neither should you,” Rodgers said on the show.
The feud between ABC’s late-night star and Rodgers, who regularly appears on the daily ESPN show, has proven embarrassing for The Walt Disney Co., the parent company to both television networks.
Rodgers criticized Mike Foss, an ESPN executive who oversees McAfee’s show, for saying that Rodgers had made “a dumb and factually inaccurate joke” about Kimmel.
“Mike, you’re not helping,” Rodgers said. “You’re not helping because I just read earlier exactly what I said. This is the game plan of the media and this is what they do: They try to cancel, you know, and it’s not just me…If you look at all the different people who’ve been censored from the internet, especially during COVID, the cancelling that went on, the censoring, using the government to try and censor people.”
Before addressing his specific comments, Rodgers had a lengthy preamble about his grudges against Kimmel, including jokes the comic has made about the quarterback’s anti-COVID-19 vaccination comments.
Even after that, he said he didn’t care what Kimmel said about him, “but as long as he understands what I actually said and that I’m not accusing him of being on a list … I’m all for moving forward.”
— with files from Global News’ Sarah Do Couto and The Associated Press
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