George Santos' Ex-Boyfriend Addresses Lawmaker's Lies and Sudden Rise to Power: 'He Always Looked for Fame'
Francis Chung/POLITICO via AP Images Rep. George Santos outside his office on Capitol Hill
George Santos' ex-boyfriend is speaking out about the controversial freshman congressman.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Pedro Vilarva claimed he dated Santos, 34 — who went by Anthony Devolder during their relationship — for about a year before they went their separate ways. Vilarva told CNN's Erin Burnett that he wasn't surprised by Santos' decision to run for Congress, even if it did come out of the blue.
"What he always looked for was fame and power," he said. "That's all he cared about, and he got it. He got the fame of the lies and he got the power that he's in Congress now. But … he shouldn't be there."
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When Burnett asked Vilarva if he thinks Santos will resign, he replied: "I don't think so. His ego is too big and too high, he's not gonna resign. If they don't find something to get him [out], he's not going to do it. That's for sure."
Vilarva also noted that Santos had seemed like a "different person" when they first started dating, describing him as "sweet" and "caring." Vilarva said he ultimately decided to end the relationship after he discovered Santos had been dishonest with him.
RELATED: New York Republicans Call on George Santos to Resign: 'He Deceived Voters'
Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty George Santos
Vilarva also shared a photo of him with Santos' mother and told CNN that the family had not mentioned anything about 9/11 (Santos previously claimed that his mother was in the Twin Towers on 9/11 and died as a result of the attack, which has since been debunked). Vilarva also said that he had not witnessed Santos nor his mother going to work at Citigroup (more claims by Santos that could not be substantiated), saying he assumed those claims were lies "because I never saw him working."
Vilarva said he did learn a lot about his ex-boyfriend from all the press coverage, though. "There were so many things I found out afterward ... I still believed that he went to Baruch College like he used to say."
RELATED: Rep. George Santos Appears to Have Ripped Off His Former Boss's Resume in Crafting His Backstory
Santos — who was elected as a representative for New York's 3rd congressional district in 2022 — has recently come under fire for multiple alleged lies tied to being Jewish, working at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, attending Baruch College and about his mom dying as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Santos apologized last month to The New York Post about "embellishing my resume" following a New York Times report that revealed that a large portion of his biography could not be verified.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't graduate from any institution of higher learning. I'm embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume. I own up to that ... we do stupid things in life."
"I never claimed to be Jewish," Santos also told the Post. "I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was 'Jew-ish.'"
Immigration records obtained by researcher Alex Calzareth and made public by The Washington Post, also showed Santos' mom Fatima Devolder was living in Rio de Janeiro at the time of the 9/11 attacks.
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A growing chorus of lawmakers have called on the Republican to resign. Santos' fellow New York Reps. Daniel Goldman and Ritchie Torres — both Democrats — filed an official complaint with the House Committee on Ethics, calling for them to launch an investigation into Santos.
"George Santos, by his own admission, is an outright fraud. The House has an obligation to police itself and maintain the integrity of the institution," Goldman said in a tweet announcing the complaint.
However, others — like House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — have noted that he was legally elected, and therefore should continue to serve unless he is found to have broken the law. Currently, Santos is being criminally investigated by both local and federal officials.