SAN DIEGO (CN) – San Diego Charger linebacker Shawne Merriman sued his former girlfriend, “reality TV” star Tila Tequila, claiming she falsely accused him of attacking her, drugging and sleeping with minors and making illegal drugs, all in an effort to get him kicked off the NFL team.
Merriman says his ex, whose real name is Tila Nguyen, posted the claims alongside copyrighted photos of him on her Web sites, TilasHotSpot.com and TilasHotSpot.buzznet.com.
Nguyen makes money off her Web sites by hosting ads and charging membership fees, Merriman says in his federal complaint. He does not accuse her of defamation, but of copyright and trademark infringement and dilution, intentional interference with contract and unfair competition.
Merriman claims Nguyen’s accusations interfere with his football career and with negotiations to produce a line of T-shirts for Wal-Mart.
He claims that Nguyen admitted to friends that her allegations were untrue.
Merriman was arrested on Sept. 6 after Nguyen claimed that he choked her and restrained her from leaving his home. The charges were dismissed on Sept. 11.
Nguyen has modeled for Playboy and appeared on two seasons of MTV’s “A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila,” where contestants competed for her affections.
Merriman seeks punitive damages and an injunction. He sued Nguyen and her company, Little Miss Trendsetter. He is represented by Andrew Skale with Mintz Levin and Cohn.
The lead plaintiff is Merriman’s company, Lights Out. He acquired that nickname, which he trademarked, after he allegedly knocked four opposing players unconscious during a single high school football game.