Tequila Files Civil Suit Against Merriman For Sept. Incident
Last Updated: 1478 days ago
Reality show hostess Tila Tequila filed a civil lawsuit this week against San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, accusing him of assault, battery, false imprisonment and emotional distress.The lawsuit stems from a Sept. 6 incident at the NFL star's home in Poway, in which Tequila -- whose real name is Tila Nguyen -- claims Merriman choked her as she tried to leave.The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, was first reported early Tuesday on celebrity Web site TMZ.com. It was filed in San Diego.Sheriff's deputies took the former Pro Bowl linebacker into custody the night of the incident after Nguyen signed a citizen's arrest warrant accusing him of battery and false imprisonment. He was released hours later.District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis declined to press charges, finding there was "insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any crime was committed."The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Merriman said he was protecting the 4-foot-11, 93-pound woman because she was intoxicated and wanted to drive home. Nguyen denied being drunk.On the same early morning of the attack, the couple was spotted partying at Stingaree nightclub in downtown San Diego, where Nguyen was photographed giving Merriman a lap dance.Initially, sources close to the story told 10news that jealousy sparked the incident, after Merriman asked her to join him and two other women in the bedroom. However, the lawsuit claimed that after a night of partying the pair got into a dispute over Merriman's "temper, his drug use and derogatory comments."In the suit, Tequila said she "refused to take any drugs" but Merriman told her, "You don't have a choice."The suit goes on that Tequila "was against his personal drug use (steroids, ecstasy, pot), his violent behavior and hearing that defendant had slept with a minor."Then she charged that Merriman -- six feet four inches tall, weighing 280 pounds -- began to chase her down the hall, grabbed Tequila by her arms and started to "shake her like a rag doll."Pictures, included in the lawsuit file, showed close-ups of dark spots on her neck and her arms. The bruising, she said, he inflicted when she tried to leave.Tequila is seeking unspecified damages, and the suit claimed she "suffered injury to her physical and mental health, embarassment, humiliation, fear, anxiety, emotional distress and injury to her reputation".