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Old accusation of sexual assault comes back to haunt 'Silicon Valley' actor T.J. Miller

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T.J. Miller is the latest star to be accused of sexual misconduct.

The Daily Beast reports that while in college at George Washington University in the early aughts, the Silicon Valley actor, 36, was accused of sexual assault. The accusations were reportedly addressed by a student court at the Washington, D.C., school.

Miller’s accuser, who was given the pseudonym Sarah in the article, was taking classes at the school when Miller was an undergrad. They were in the same comedy troupe, receSs, and began a relationship. Months into their romance, after she lost her virginity to him, they were “fooling around” during a drunken night together when Miller began “shaking me violently” and punched her in the mouth during sex, she claims. The next morning, she woke up with a fractured tooth and a bloodied lip, she said. She claimed she asked Miller about it and he said she had fallen down the night before in a drunken haze.

T.J. Miller at the premiere of<em> The Emoji Movie</em> on July 23, 2017. (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
T.J. Miller at the premiere of The Emoji Movie on July 23, 2017. (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

They continued their relationship, but Sarah said another incident followed. While engaging in consensual sex at her apartment, Miller became violent again, and it turned into a “five-hour” ordeal. “He put his hands around my throat and closed them, and I couldn’t breathe,” she told the website, emphasizing that she was not drunk when the second incident took place. “I was genuinely terrified and completely surprised. I understand now that this is for some people a kink, and I continue to believe it is [something] that should be entered into by consenting parties. But, as someone who had only begun having sexual encounters, like, about three months earlier, I had no awareness this was a kink, and I had certainly not entered into any agreement that I would be choked.”

Sarah said things escalated, and he “anally penetrated me without my consent,” including with a beer bottle. She said she “froze” during the incident because she “didn’t want to believe it was happening.”

Two of Sarah’s housemates spoke to the Daily Beast, saying they heard “a loud smacking” noise in Sarah’s bedroom, and one of them knocked on the door at one point to intervene, but she declined help. The next day, they noticed she was bruised and upset and urged her to call the police and seek medical treatment at a hospital. (One of Sarah’s ex-boyfriends also spoke to the Daily Beast. He said she told him about the sexual assault, and he remembers Miller going through the college trial.)

Sarah says she and Miller parted ways after the incident. She asked mutual friends about his behavior and was told, “Yeah, that’s just T.J.”

It took Sarah a year to come forward to GWU’s campus police, she said. (She didn’t want to take the case to the police since nearly a year had past, and there was no remaining physical evidence.) Her allegations were handled by the “student court” at the university. According to a former roommate who testified there, Miller, then a senior, was there along with his father and an attorney. After a trial period that lasted a couple of weeks, Sarah was told by the university that the issue had been resolved. A school spokesperson wouldn’t tell the Daily Beast the outcome of the trial. However, multiple sources told the website that Miller was “expelled after he graduated,” which was described as an outcome that appeared to be an attempt by the university to satisfy both parties.

Miller left his alma mater and went on to become a standup comedian. His most famous role — in HBO’s Silicon Valley followed — and he voiced a character in The Emoji Movie, which came out this past summer. However, according to the article, rumors about the accusations have followed him during his career. According to the Daily Beast, he’s spoken about the incident, denying the accusations and saying he was wrongfully accused. He has also cracked jokes about punching a woman he knew in college, according to the story.

For the story, Miller denied Sarah’s claims of sexual assault and physical assault. In a joint statement with his wife of two years, Kate Gorney, they said, “We met this woman over a decade ago while studying together in college, she attempted to break us up back then by plotting for over a year before making contradictory claims and accusations. She was asked to leave our university comedy group because of worrisome and disturbing behavior, which angered her immensely. She then became fixated on our relationship and began telling people around campus, ‘I’m going to destroy them’ and ‘I’m going to ruin him.” (Sarah denied this in the Daily Beast article, saying, “Of course not.”)

T.J. Miller and his wife, Kate Gorney, at the premiere of <em>The Emoji Movie</em> on July 23, 2017. (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
T.J. Miller and his wife, Kate Gorney, at the premiere of The Emoji Movie on July 23, 2017. (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

The Millers said that Sarah “began again to circulate rumors online once [my and Kate’s] relationship became public. Sadly, she is now using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again. It is unfortunate that she is choosing this route, as it undermines the important movement to make women feel safe coming forward about legitimate claims against real known predators.”

On Tuesday, as this story broke, Miller and Gorney posted their denial on Twitter. They say they “stand together and will not allow this person to take advantage of a serious movement toward gender equality by allowing her to muddy the water with an unrelated personal agenda.”

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