[image-1]Today The Daily Beast published a story, “Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller accused of sexually assaulting and punching a woman.” Miller, who has headlined the 2012 and 2016 Charleston Comedy Festival, presented by Theater 99 and Charleston City Paper, was formerly one of the stars of HBO’s Silicon Valley, a show he left this year.
The Daily Beast says that allegations were made against the 36-year-old Miller while he was in college, and were “eventually addressed by a student court at George Washington University and have been buzzed about in Hollywood and stand-up circles for years.” The woman accusing Miller of assaulting her in college told The Daily Beast, “He just tried a lot of things without asking me, and at no point asked me if I was all right. He choke[d] me, and I kept staring at his face hoping he would see that I was afraid and [that he] would stop… I couldn’t say anything.”
The Daily Beast describes the beginning of Miller’s accuser’s relationship (she is given the alias “Sarah”) with Miller below:
But months into their relationship, which started in the fall of 2001, Sarah said the first troubling encounter took place. She recalled having “a lot to drink” and admitted that there are “parts of [the incident] I don’t remember.” She stressed that “it is important to me to cop to that… [and] I’m not interested in forcing a pretend memory on anyone… 15 years later, I remain terrified of accusing someone of something they didn’t do, but I have a visual and physical memory of that.”
However, Sarah said she has a distinct memory that as they were “fooling around” at her place, Miller began “shaking me violently” and punched her in the mouth during sex.
Sarah said that she woke up the following morning with a fractured tooth and a bloodied lip. When she asked Miller about it that morning, he claimed, according to Sarah, that she had simply fallen down drunkenly the past evening.
She was unsettled by the incident, but said that she did not know many people in D.C. and continued to see Miller. She had lost her virginity to him and, at least for a brief window, he was someone she trusted.
Several more incidents are described, including choking and unwanted anal penetration from by Miller and a beer bottle.
The Daily Beast reports that Miller “has told friends over the years that he was wrongfully accused,” adding, “In the years since, Miller has attempted to address the lingering allegations by occasionally making light of them. He’s privately joked about committing violence against a woman in his past, according to three sources in the comedy world.”
The Daily Beast interviewed several of Miller’s accuser’s former comedy troupe cohorts, who were friends with both Miller and his accuser, who generally conceded that Miller “couldn’t have done” what his accuser alleges.
Four of these friends spoke to The Daily Beast, though none agreed to do so on the record. Each of these friends was in the college comedy troupe or matriculating at GW at the time. And all of them presented the same general portrait of Miller as a gregarious and generous person who “couldn’t have done this,” as several said.
“I’ve known T.J. since college, always known him to be a very caring person, and respectful, particularly toward women,” one friend said. And he loves his wife very, very much.”
Miller and his wife, Kate, put forth a statement when they learned of Daily Beast‘s forthcoming article. The entire statement can be found online, but an excerpt reads:
“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.'”
The Daily Beast cites four sources in the L.A. and Chicago comedy scenes, including JC Coccoli, an L.A. producer who briefly dated Miller in 2009, who, “first heard of the allegations because Miller had told them about them or referenced them in private conversation, or at small gatherings before or after shows. Miller did so in the context of vehemently denying ‘rumors’ circulating in various comedy communities. Other times, he would crack jokes about punching a woman he knew in college, two other comics independently told The Daily Beast.”
Miller first visited the Charleston Comedy Festival in 2012 on the heels of being named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch” as well as Entertainment Weekly’s “Next Big Things in Comedy.” Miller headed to CFF again in 2016, when his show was rescheduled due to weather-related cancellations.
Miller did not give an interview to City Paper prior to either one of his Charleston Comedy Festival performances. The Charleston Comedy Festival declined to comment.