Film and TV

T.J. Miller Sex-Assault Accusations and Denials Get Ugly

T.J. Miller in Denver last year.
T.J. Miller in Denver last year. Photo by Chase Hoffman
Last December, when hometown Denver hero T.J. Miller was arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly slapping an Uber driver after an argument about Donald Trump, the tenor of the coverage was mild bemusement. Not this time, though. Miller is the latest high-profile star to be accused of abuse in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, with a woman coming forward anonymously to say that he sexually assaulted and punched her during his college years. But rather than issuing a vague apology for past behavior, Miller has responded with harsh words for his anonymous accuser.

The story was broken in The Daily Beast, with author Asawin Suebsaeng noting that the source had asked that her name not appear because she fears retribution. Hence she's referred to by the pseudonym "Sarah" when she maintains (with some support from contemporaneous sources) that while attending college at George Washington University, she had at least two extraordinarily troubling encounters with Miller, including being slugged in the mouth and choked without consent during sex.

Unlike comic Louis C.K., who admitted to sexual misconduct during a 2002 comedy festival in Aspen, Miller and his wife, Kate, have co-written a response on Instagram in which they reject the claims in the Daily Beast story and suggest that the woman in question has a history of attempting to break up their relationship.

T.J. Miller and wife Kate Miller in a photo that accompanied his denial of the accusations against him on Facebook. - KATE MILLER INSTAGRAM
T.J. Miller and wife Kate Miller in a photo that accompanied his denial of the accusations against him on Facebook.
Kate Miller Instagram
Those who'd like to read the entire take can click to do so. But an excerpt reads, "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."

Miller isn't the only Denver-related icon to be accused of sexual impropriety. In 2016, the story of former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning allegedly pressing his naked butt against the face of trainer Jamie Naughright during his days at the University of Tennessee received renewed attention. Then, this past October, following Weinstein's shocking fall from grace, the report resurfaced when Naughright granted her first public interview on the subject to Inside Edition.

Manning has consistently insisted that he did nothing improper in regard to Naughright, and he's mostly avoided a PR hit for his alleged actions. It's too soon to know yet if Miller will do likewise. But the matter has gotten mighty ugly mighty fast.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts