A sexual assault rumor has followed stand-up comedian and actor T.J. Miller throughout the entertainment industry, one which has caused female comics to warn one another and, in a number of cases, decline to work with him. It all comes back to an incident in college, in which Miller was accused of brutal sexual assault by a woman in his comedy troupe. On Tuesday, the Daily Beast published an article detailing the allegations, which include punching, shaking, choking, forced anal sex, and forced penetration with a beer bottle.
Miller has denied the allegations. He and his wife Kate, whom he began dating around the time of the alleged assault, released a statement, saying that Sarah spent a year plotting to break them up before making her allegations. They also accused Sarah of “using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations.”
The Daily Beast spoke extensively with Miller’s 2001 accuser, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, as well as her roommates from the time. Sarah, as the article refers to her, said that she formed a relationship with Miller after meeting him through the George Washington University comedy scene. Sarah said that she was sexually inexperienced, and lost her virginity to Miller.
A few months into their relationship, in a sexual encounter during which Sarah admitted she was drunk and has limited memory of, Sarah specifically recalled Miller violently shaking her and punching her in the mouth. She woke with a bloodied lip and fractured tooth, but said Miller told her she had fallen the previous evening.
A few nights later, when Sarah was upset over being dropped from the comedy group, she called Miller, who she still saw as someone to confide in. She and Miller met at a party before returning to her apartment to have sex, where he soon became violent again, in an ordeal which allegedly lasted five hours. Sarah said Miller choked her non-consensually, causing her to gag so loudly that her roommates knocked on her door to check on her. Sarah sent them away, telling them she would talk to them in the morning. Miller then anally raped her, but stopped when she cried out “no.” He also penetrated her with a beer bottle without her consent, Sarah alleged.
Sarah’s former roommates confirmed that they had knocked on the door out of concern, with one saying that she “heard quite a lot of fighting [sounds] and banging, and loud, violent sounds.” She said that Sarah looked like she had been through an ordeal the following morning, and that she recalled seeing bruises on Sarah’s body.
Sarah didn’t report the incident until almost one year later, when, after much deliberation, she took the matter to campus police, where it was tried in student court. Two of the housemates quoted in the article confirmed that they testified during proceedings, and recalled seeing Miller and his attorney at the university trial. Miller graduated in 2003, though the trial’s outcome is unclear (Sarah was simply told that it had been “resolved”). Friends who testified for Miller in the case said he was a “good guy” who wouldn’t do such a thing. Friends also claim Sarah intentionally fabricated the claims, and was out to destroy Miller.
“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,” the Millers added in their statement.
Miller has been known to joke about the allegations with friends and colleagues, according to multiple sources in the Daily Beast account.