Tough Love for Tila Tequila

Liz De La Torre

If anyone thought the MTV reality show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila was drama, consider the commotion that transpired off-camera on Sept. 6 involving the petite celebrity. Tila Nguyen—a singer, actress, and model infamously recognized as Tila Tequila who rose to fame following her internet celebrity on MySpace, is now the subject of a domestic dispute. But whether this is a case of domestic abuse or just another celebrity showdown to make headlines is unclear. Cops arrived to San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman’s home Sunday morning after Nguyen called the police at 3:45 a.m., alleging she was choked and detained by her NFL boyfriend. Merriman was arrested on charges of battery and false imprisonment.

But as with any drama, it only gets uglier. Contrary to reports that he beat Nguyen, Merriman maintains the only thing he is guilty of is protecting his girlfriend. In fact, he says he tried to keep an “extremely intoxicated” Nguyen out of harm’s way by thwarting her leaving. “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,” says the linebacker. Merriman went on to say that he wants to concentrate on a winning season with the San Diego Chargers and clear his name of any wrongdoing.

However, Nguyen dismissed Merriman’s claims that she was drunk by citing how she is “allergic to alcohol” on her Twitter page. “It has been publicly known for years. That is how I got the name ‘Tila Tequila’ cuz the irony. I can’t drink,” she tweeted. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, both Nguyen and Merriman were spotted at Stinagree nightclub just two hours before the incident. Owner James Brennan reveals Nguyen was, in fact, drinking. Allusions to her reality show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila have also been made in conjuncture with some of her YouTube videos which feature her rapping about drinking or showing champagne bottles. So, is Tila Nguyen really a victim or just another celebrity vying for more attention?

Earlier last week, prosecutors in San Diego chose to not pursue charges against the linebacker. Their reasoning? They stated that they had a lack of definitive evidence. But will more charges come of this investigation? Whatever the case may be, it seems Tila Nguyen’s “shot at love” with Shawne Merriman might just be over.