T.J. Miller, an alumnus and comedy star, has been accused of a violent sexual assault during his time as an undergraduate student, according to a report Tuesday by The Daily Beast.
The alleged sexual assault survivor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and is referred to as “Sarah” in the report, said Miller became violent on two occasions during sexual encounters without her consent and without regard for her well-being.
“He just tried a lot of things without asking me, and at no point asked me if I was all right,” she told The Daily Beast.
Miller, a former star of the HBO hit comedy series “Silicon Valley,” denied the allegations in a joint statement with his wife Kate, saying that the alleged survivor started the “rumors” to undermine their relationship.
“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 and his wife said in a statement to The Daily Beast.
The incidents later went before a GW “student court,” where Sarah said the case was later resolved without explanation, according the report. Officials declined to comment about the case to The Daily Beast, citing federal privacy laws.
Miller and the alleged survivor met in the improv comedy troupe, receSs, while Miller was a student and Sarah was taking classes at GW but was not formally enrolled at the University. They starting dating in fall 2001, according to the report.
That semester, the alleged survivor said after they had both become intoxicated, she and Miller were “fooling around” when Miller punched her in the mouth during sex, causing a bloody lip and a fractured tooth. The next morning, Miller told her that she fell down while drunk, according to the report.
During the second encounter, Sarah described a five-hour-long ordeal at her off-campus apartment that left her physically bruised and emotionally shaken. She said Miller began choking her during consensual sex and she was unable to breathe.
“We started to fool around, and very early in that, he put his hands around my throat and closed them, and I couldn’t breathe,” she said in the report. “I was genuinely terrified and completely surprised.”
Her roommates came to ask if she was alright and she told them she would talk to them in the morning, according to the report.
“He pulled me back to bed and more things happened,” Sarah told The Daily Beast. “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.”
The report includes interviews with Sarah’s roommates and friends who recalled Sarah telling them about the incidents at the time.
Almost a year later, Sarah went to the University Police Department and the case later went before a GW “student court” for a multi-week trial. Sarah told The Daily Beast that the student court grilled her about how much she had to drink that night and if she had ever heard of the sexual practice erotic asphyxiation.
A roommate told The Daily Beast that she felt “uncomfortable” with questions from the student court about why she hadn’t done more to stop the incident.
After the trial, officials later told her the situation was “resolved,” according to the report. Sources told The Daily Beast that Miller was “‘expelled after he graduated’ — an outcome that appeared to be an attempt by the University to satisfy both parties.”
Miller graduated in 2003, but has since returned to campus for performances and continued to work with receSs. In 2008, Miller helped receSs create a short film and in 2009, he headlined a comedy night event during Alumni Weekend.
After the report was published Tuesday morning, a student created an online petition demanding that University President Thomas LeBlanc rescind Miller’s GW degree. The petition has collected 48 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
The University has long been accused by survivors and sexual assault advocates of mishandling sexual violence cases. Officials have made several changes to how cases are handled in recent years and mandated in-person sexual assault prevention training for all freshmen.