More than three months after their Sept. 6 she-said, he-said altercation, San Diego Charger Shawne Merriman has finally gotten around to filing suit against his ex-girlfriend, alleging copyright and trademark infringement, federal unfair competition, dilution of famous mark, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, common law unfair competition and intentional interference with existing contracts, and, as befits such a list, is seeking millions of dollars in damages.
He claims that her public and frequent insistence that he assaulted, choked, struck and falsely imprisoned her have tarnished his image and negatively impacted his considerable business dealings.
But rather than just being a rotten bit of luck, he claims the financial fallout he suffered was the exact aim of Tequila's character-smearing allegations.
The 60-page lawsuit obtained by E! News was filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday on behalf of Merriman and his company, Lights Out LLC, and argues that Tequila's "unfounded charges" damaged his relationship and standing not only within the Chargers organization, but with potential business partners.
According to the lawsuit, the pint-size star's claims that Merriman smoked pot, took Ecstasy and, most damningly, "sleeps with minors and forces them to take drugs," resulted in Wal-Mart slamming the brakes on an in-the-works T-shirt with the footballer.
The documents also insist that that's exactly the sort of reaction Tequila (real name: Tila Nguyen) was hoping for, and that she even "admitted to her friend, Jason Johnson, that the purpose of her unfounded allegations was to interfere with [Merriman's] agreements and business relationships."
But according to Merriman, she didn't just want to damage his business dealings—she wanted to improve her own. He claims she used his company name on her website and also posted pictures of him in order to drive traffic and sell her own branded products.
An attorney for the newly betrothed online sensation declined comment to E! News, saying that she had not yet been served with the lawsuit.
As for the litigation-instigating incident, the San Diego district attorney opted not to press charges against Merriman in the case, claiming there was not enough evidence that any crime had been committed.
Merriman, who spent several hours in jail over the incident, claimed Tequila misconstrued his actions and that he was simply trying to prevent her from driving drunk after a night out. How her long-espoused allergy to alcohol fit into his retelling of events was never made clear by either party.
As for Tila, she too has threatened legal action against Merriman over the incident, but has yet to follow through.
So, Tila Tequila's getting married (we'll believe it when we see it). Check out who actually took the marital plunge this year with a click through our Celebrity Weddings 2009 gallery.