NFL Player Accused of Choking Reality TV Star

Published September 8, 2009

Police, responding to a call from reality TV sex kitten Tila Tequila, arrested San Diego Chargers All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman early Sunday on charges that he choked her and prevented her from leaving her home.


But Merriman’s lawyer, Todd Macaluso, said that there were more than a dozen other people attending a party at his suburban San Diego home who witnessed his client merely trying to keep his very inebriated girlfriend from driving. “Witness after witness after witness will back up his story 100 percent." When police answered the disturbance call at about 3:45 a.m., they said that Tila Nguyen, who goes by the nickname Tila Tequila, told police that Merriman “choked and physically restrained” her. 

Police took Merriman into custody on suspicion of battery and false imprisonment. Officers at the scene noted, however, that they did not see any evidence of physical injuries. Nguyen asked to be transported to the hospital anyway.

Nguyen was "extremely intoxicated,” Macaluso said.  "At no time did Mr. Merriman assault her. At no time did Mr. Merriman keep her against her will," Macaluso said. "His intentions were nothing but good. ... We're very confident that this matter will be resolved without any charges being filed whatsoever."

In a written statement to Fox News, Merriman says the allegations are "false."  Merriman said Nguyen appeared to be in an "intoxicated state" and, because of that, he "encouraged her to stay until safe transportation could be provided."

Written by BET-Staff

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