I Didn't Choke Tila Tequila: Merriman

Chargers linebacker says reality-show star was too drunk to leave safely
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2009 3:55 PM CDT
FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2007 file photo, TV Personality Tila Tequila makes an appearance at MTV Studios in New York.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
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(Newser) – Shawne Merriman denies choking Tila Tequila and says he was trying to keep her from leaving his home because she was so drunk he was worried she would hurt herself, the Los Angeles Times reports. The San Diego Chargers linebacker released a statement after being arrested yesterday when the reality-TV star, aka Tila Nguyen, called 911 from his house and said he choked and restrained her.

"I was concerned about her welfare given the intoxicated state she appeared to be in and I encouraged her to stay until safe transportation could be provided," Merriman said in his statement. "We would all do our best to help a friend if we considered their actions to be detrimental to their personal safety. I in no way caused any harm to Ms. Nguyen."