7:17pm PT by Ashley Cullins
T.J. Miller Claims Cab Driver He Allegedly Assaulted Is Trying to Extort Him
Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller is going on the offensive after a cab driver accused him of battery during the holidays — saying the man's allegations were part of a plan to extort him.
Miller was arrested in December just days before hosting the Critics Choice Awards, during which he didn't mention the incident. The cab driver, Wilson Deon Thomas III, then sued Miller for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He claims Miller hit him in the shoulder and head, forcing him to slam on the breaks, resulting in injury and anxiety.
Miller is asserting dozens of affirmative — most notably of unclean hands, which asserts that the party seeking relief from the court isn't eligible because he or she has done something unethical in connection with the complaint.
"From the moment Mr. Miller and his wife stepped into Mr. Thomas' vehicle and he recognized Mr. Miller as a comedian and Hollywood actor, Mr. Thomas started a plan to try and extort money from Mr. Miller, even commenting that Mr. Miller was 'a rich guy,'" writes attorney Bryan Freedman in a reply to the complaint.
Freedman argues that this isn't the first time Thomas has created fictitious injuries and made up stories in order to sue. Specifically, he says Thomas sued his former employer for wrongful termination after seeking work restrictions for an ankle injury.
Thomas looked in his rear view and "saw nothing but dollar signs," according to the complaint, and was unable to find a doctor who would say he exhibited anything more than "minor aches" from the incident.
Miller is also represented by Brian Turnauer of Freedman & Taitelman. His team is asking the court to dismiss the complaint in its entirety and award Miller attorney's fees and costs. The full motion is posted below.