“Silicon Valley” star T.J. Miller has been accused of sexual assault

On December 19th, news broke that Silicon Valley actor T.J. Miller has been accused of sexual assault. The victim, who has asked to remain anonymous, said the incident took place in 2001 while the two attended George Washington University.

Warning: The following contains graphic descriptions of assault that may serve as a trigger to some readers.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, the accuser — who is referred to as “Sarah” throughout the piece — stated that she was in a brief relationship with Miller, and that he physically abused her and refused to ask for her consent before and during sexual encounters.

"He just tried a lot of things without asking me, and at no point asked me if I was all right," she stated. "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."

Sarah detailed two specific incidents to The Daily Beast in which Miller was violent. She stated that Miller once shook her during sex and punched her in the mouth, leaving her with a fractured tooth and bloody lip that Miller tried to convince her happened when she drunkenly fell down.

She also said, "He anally penetrated me without my consent, which I actually believe at that point I cried out, like, ‘No,’ and he didn’t continue to do that — but he also had a [beer] bottle with him the entire time. He used the bottle at one point to penetrate me without my consent," she said.

The Daily Beast spoke to Sarah’s then-housemates, who confirmed that she came home with bruises after a night with Miller. One, named Katie Duffy, said:

"She looked like she had been through a rough night — I recall seeing bruises. One roommate asked if she wanted to go to the police. Others offered to take her to the hospital."

A year after the incidents took place, Sarah said she felt ready to confide in the police at George Washington University, and met with the student court. She asked her past housemates to testify on her behalf, and Miller attended the court date with a lawyer present.

Both Miller and his wife, Kate Gorney, have denied the accusations, issuing a statement that said:

"[The accuser] 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."

Their statement continued,

"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."

Meanwhile, Sarah and her former housemates aren’t the only people to go on record about the incidents. The Daily Beast contacted Matt Lord, Sarah’s ex-boyfriend, who wrote the following:

"I attended George Washington University for undergraduate studies from 2000 until December 2003...I had a romantic relationship with [this] woman, who spoke with me about T.J. Miller sexually assaulting her. At the time I believed the statements she made regarding the assault by Mr. Miller, and I continue to believe the statements she made are true. She was engaged in student conduct proceedings regarding the sexual assault, and I remember the emotional toll that the assault and the subsequent conduct hearings placed on her."

A comedian named Lauren Ashley Bishop also took to Twitter to say that Miller once threatened her career when she filed a restraining order against one of his friends.

While we of course cant’t know for sure what took place, we do know that discrediting women who come forward with accounts of sexual abuse — as well as questioning their “motives” — is a tactic predators often use to undermine their accusers and to smear them in the court of public opinion. It’s one of the many reasons why rape and sexual assaults are generally underreported to police.

We continue to stand by all the brave women and men who come forward with accounts of abuse.