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No, T.J. Miller, You Don’t Get to Engage in Kink Without Asking. That’s Called Assault.

This one’s been brewing for a while, and now the story is finally seeing the light of day. Silicon Valley‘s T.J. Miller is the latest Hollywood abusersorry, alleged abuserto be accused of sexual assault, violence, and general abuses of all kinds against women. Color me not surprised.

CW: brief descriptions of violence and sexual assault. 

As reported by The Daily Beast, an anonymous woman (whom the Beast refers to as “Sarah” to protect her anonymity) has come forward with an incident involving Miller assaulting her during their relationship, while Miller was a student and “Sarah” was taking classes (but not matriculated) at George Washington University. They were both members of a GW comedy troupe called receSs, which is how they got together.

At first, the relationship seemed fine. “Sarah” lost her virginity to him and says that she trusted him and felt safe around him at first.

Suddenly things took a turn.

“Sarah” describes two awful incidents with Miller. The first was at her apartment, which she was renting with roommates. They’d started engaging in consensual sex when Miller started “shaking me violently.” He punched her in the mouth as they had sex. According to The Daily Beast:

Sarah said that she woke up the following morning with a fractured tooth and a bloodied lip. When she asked Miller about it that morning, he claimed, according to Sarah, that she had simply fallen down drunkenly the past evening.

She was unsettled by the incident, but said that she did not know many people in D.C. and continued to see Miller. She had lost her virginity to him and, at least for a brief window, he was someone she trusted.

“Sarah” says that “I couldn’t bring myself [at the time] to believe this had happened. It was me not wanting it to be true.”

The second incident happened after they’d met up at a party, where she insists she’d had no more than two drinks, and so the memory of the events of the following “five-hour ordeal” remain “crystal clear.” They went back to her apartment and started having sex again. Here’s the description of what happened in “Sarah’s” own words:

“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. I was genuinely terrified and completely surprised. I understand now that this is for some people a kink, and I continue to believe it is [something] that should be entered into by consenting parties. But, as someone who had only begun having sexual encounters, like, about three months earlier, I had no awareness this was a kink, and I had certainly not entered into any agreement that I would be choked. I was fully paralyzed.”

She was apparently choking so loudly that one of her roommates came to investigate and asked if everything was okay. “Sarah,” told her she wasn’t sure, and that she’d talk to her tomorrow. She continues recounting her ordeal:

“He pulled me back to bed and more things happened. 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 Beast corroborates “Sarah’s” story with several roommates and friends who were within earshot of both incidents, or in whom “Sarah” confided immediately after the fact. So this isn’t just a case of “Sarah” speaking out on her own. This shizz has witnesses. The sad part is that, even when they tried to intervene, “Sarah” was too shaken up and afraid to accept the help. That’s what abuse does.

Meanwhile, Miller has historically denied all of this, and now he and his wife, Kate, are denying it together. They released a joint statement that basically makes it sound like “Sarah” is coming forward with this simply out of jealousy over their relationship (because Miller is such a catch, amirite?). They wrote:

“[She] 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.”

Again, I would like to point out that it isn’t just “Sarah” making the accusations, but others who were there corroborating her story. If that’s not enough, there are the accusations of other women who’ve either experienced, or watched Miller’s abuse of women so often that it demonstrates a pattern of behavior toward women, which makes it less likely that this is a case of “one jealous ex,” as the Millers would have us believe.

My first response when I saw this story was fury on behalf of “Sarah,” because of the alleged multiple sexual assaults she was forced to endure. If these stories are true (and based on the multiple corroborations and additional incidents I’ve heard about for years both in the press and from friends in comedy circles, I’d have a hard time denying that they are), Miller is a trash heap.

My second response was that I was infuriated as someone who believes in sex-positivity and in the value of consensual kink.

For those keeping track: No, it is never okay to engage in kinky behavior without asking. Never. You don’t just spring new sex acts—any new sex actson someone without asking, signaling, something. There’s no such thing as blanket, permanent consent. Consent can be given and taken away by anyone at any time, and it is not up to any sexual partner to assume that any sex act is okay. I don’t care what your history is, or how long you’ve been dating, or what the person was wearing, or that the person agreed to it at first. If you haven’t talked about it in advance, you need to talk about it in the moment. Period.

And if someone says “No” and you stop doing the act they asked you to stop. You don’t then penetrate them with a beer bottle. (I both want to throw up and kick Miller in the face.)

When I first read the allegations, there was a part of me that wondered, “If we were more open about kinky behavior as a society, would a conversation about it between these two have been possible?” But I quickly dismissed the thought.

Based on Miller’s pattern of behavior, he’s not someone who has any interest in things like conversations or consent. This wasn’t an instance of someone acting out because their sexual preferences had been repressed. This was an instance of an abusive human being with a clear disdain for women laying claim to something that wasn’t his to take. This is a person who has a long history of treating women like garbage, and doesn’t seem to care, so long as it keeps him famous.

You want to be famous, Miller? Fine. You will heretofore be known as an abusive douche the world over! You’re welcome.

(image: HBO)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former Mary Sue assistant editor from 2015-18. Teresa's returned to play in the TMS sandbox as a freelancer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.