T.J. Miller’s Chaotic Year: An Arrest, Alleged Sexual Assault & Being Written Off Silicon Valley
The former Silicon Valley star's past year includes arrests, alleged sexual assault, a cancelled show and more
Miller, 36, was arrested and taken into custody at La Guardia Airport in New York for allegedly “intentionally conveying to law enforcement false information about an explosive device on a train traveling to Connecticut,” according to a press release from the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Miller “called a 911 dispatcher in New Jersey and reported that he was on Amtrak Train #2256 traveling from Washington, DC towards Penn Station in New York City, and that a female passenger ‘has a bomb in her bag,’” according to an FBI affidavit filed with the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut and obtained by The Blast.
While the arrest is Miller’s latest run-in with the law, the past few years has proven to be troublesome for the actor —both professionally and personally. Here’s a look back.
In December, Miller was arrested on suspicion of battery after a driver of an unnamed car service company accused the actor of attacking him and requested a private person’s arrest.
According to officer Drake Madison, officers followed the victim to Miller’s residence, where he was arrested and taken into custody around 1 a.m.
Miller was booked at the Hollywood station, citing a misdemeanor, and released on his own recognizance with a notice to appear. No other details were available.
According to TMZ, Miller and the accuser came to an agreement that restrained the civil case from going to court. However, the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
Five months after Miller’s arrest, HBO announced that the actor who played Silicon Valley‘s Erlich Bachman would not be returning for a fifth season.
“The producers of Silicon Valley and T.J. Miller have mutually agreed that T.J. will not return for season 5,” the network said in a statement. “In Erlich Bachman, T.J. has brought to life an unforgettable character, and while his presence on the show will be missed, we appreciate his contribution and look forward to future collaborations.”
In June, Miller told The Hollywood Reporter that his departure was “a joke.”
“Leaving was a joke that I thought would be a good joke,”he told the publication. “It seemed like a funny trick to play on everyone. It’s just like, what if Kramer [Michael Richards] left in the middle of Seinfeld’s height? … What if that was the end of this character? I just thought that would be really fascinating.”
“That was the impetus behind walking. That’s sort of the impetus behind everything I do: It just makes me laugh,” he added. “It’s not about money, it’s not about any of that stuff. It’s certainly not about fame, which is destructing my relationships with my family. It’s about things that are interesting and funny.”
In the report, the woman alleges that Miller choked her, punched her and penetrated her with a beer bottle without her consent at George Washington University, where Miller was a student and the woman was taking classes but not matriculating.
Miller and his wife Kate denied the allegations in a joint statement. According to the statement, the accuser previously “attempted to break us up” and then “began again to circulate rumors online once our relationship became public.”
“Sadly she is now using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again,” they said. “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.”
According to the publication, the accuser “did not want to take the case to the cops since nearly a year had passed, and there was no remaining physical evidence. Instead, her allegations were handled by the ‘student court’ at the university.”
A GWU spokesperson told the publication “because of federal privacy law, we are not able to provide information about current or former students’ education records,” in response to inquiries regarding a campus PD report or the student court proceedings. However, the university confirmed that Miller graduated, while other sources said he was “expelled after he graduated.”
Hours after the sexual assault allegations were made public, Comedy Central announced that Miller’s The Gorburger Show had been cancelled after just one season — though a source from Comedy Central said the decision was made much earlier in the year.
In a Hollywood Reporter cover story in March, various sources associated with the series admitted the decision to cut ties with Miller was “a long time coming,” making thinly veiled references to his “demons” and alleging his use of drugs and alcohol interfered with his ability to do his job. (Miller has been outspoken about these vices as well, referencing them in his comedy.)
Multiple show sources told the magazine that there had been stretches when Miller “looked to have things under control, and others when he’d show up seemingly under the influence, if he showed up at all.”
According to the report, Miller would allegedly show up late to table reads, typically without having read the script in advance. Sources told the magazine Miller would fall asleep between takes on set, “leaving the cast and crew to nudge him awake.”
Miller defended himself and denied the accusations, telling THRthat unlike his character, entrepreneur Erlich Bachman, in real life he’s “not always high.”
“And this will blow your readers’ minds, but I’m not high when I work because it gets in the way of the comedy,” he continued. “I also am not a guy who’s blackout-drunk, bumping into things on set. … What was occurring was I was out doing stand-up all the time, even if it meant I only got three hours of sleep. So, the thing I have a problem with? It’s pushing myself to do too much.”
On Tuesday, Miller was arrested after making a false claim that a female passenger had a bomb during his train ride in March.
After Miller was contacted by Amtrak police, he told the officers that “he had gotten off the train in New York, but that before then he had been sitting in the First Class section, and described a white female adult with red hair and a red scarf,” according to the FBI affidavit.
The FBI affidavit states that “the officer detected slurring in Miller’s voice, and asked if he had consumed alcohol that day; Miller replied that he had consumed ‘one glass of red wine.’ Asked if he suffered from mental illness, Miller replied ‘no, absolutely not. This is the first time I’ve ever made a call like this before. I am worried for everyone on that train. Someone has to check that lady out.’ ”
Officers eventually determined Train #2256 was not the one Miller and the female passenger were on and confirmed no explosive device or materials were on it.
According to the FBI affidavit, none of the passengers matched Miller’s description of the woman; “second, the officers learned that Amtrak staff had ordered Miller off his train at Penn station owing to intoxication.”
“Soon after, Amtrak Train #2258 pulled into Green’s Farm Station in Westport, Connecticut, and was stopped, inspected, and eventually found not to contain any explosive devices or materials,” the FBI affidavit reads. Officers also spoke with the First Class attendant, who confirmed Miller had been removed in New York.
“Specifically, the attendant advised that Miller appeared intoxicated upon boarding in Washington, and that while on the train, had consumed two glasses of wine and two ‘double scotch and soda’ drinks. The attendant also advised that Miller had ‘exchanged profanity with a female’ who was sitting in a different row from him in the First Class car. She matched Miller’s initial description,” reads the FBI affidavit.
The First Class attendant said Miller and the woman “had gotten into a screaming match with each other,” according to the FBI affidavit, and “there was at least one row of seats” between them.”
“The evidence supports the conclusion that Miller, motivated by some perceived grudge against the Subject Female, knowingly, intentionally, and falsely made an emergency 911 call to law enforcement accusing her of carrying a bomb; and that when contacted by law enforcement while the public safety response was still ongoing, made a deliberate choice to continue conveying false information in order to maintain and enhance the believability of his initial false bomb threat,” the FBI affidavit reads.
He appeared before a judge Monday and was released on $100,00 bond, according to The Blast. A rep for Miller did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.