T.J. Miller's Strange Marriage

Comedian and actor T.J. Miller is probably best known for his role on HBO's tech industry satire Silicon Valley. Actually, he's probably best known for the epic and prolonged flameout he's been on since leaving that show in 2017, which has included him trash-talking the series, allegedly slapping an Uber driver, making derogatory comments about women, and being accused of sexual misconduct. In the middle of all of that controversy, however, Miller got married to his longtime girlfriend, Kate Gorney.

Gorney, now Kate Miller, is an actress as well, but she's also an artist who performs and shows her work under the moniker Rose Petal Pistol. She and T.J., who met in college and have dated on and off ever since, wed in a beautiful and eclectic ceremony in Denver, Colo. on Sept. 16, 2015.

Since then, Kate has been drawn more and more into the spotlight, as well as the wake of T.J.'s questionable off-screen antics. She has stuck by his side through it all, which has raised more than a few eyebrows, particularly concerning his apparent issues with women. Let's take a look at some of the strange things about T.J. Miller's marriage.  

Getting down on bended and severely bruised knee

During an interview on Conan, the quirky comedian related the story of his nearly-bungled marriage proposal. T.J. Miller said he took his then-girlfriend Kate to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where he knelt — a little too quickly — on a concrete floor below an exhibit of a large, suspended rock. Wincing in pain, Miller managed to make it through the proposal, to which Kate said, "Okay."

"I'd been put between a rock and a hard place," Miller quipped. Har. Har.

According to Town & Country, Miller planned for every possible outcome by arranging for cupcakes decorated with the words "yes" and "no," depending on Kate's answer. He also had balloons, her favorite food — truffle fries, and their couple song on cue for immediately after he popped the questions. That song? "Point of View," by DB Boulevard, which is a fun, pop-y dance track, but it's certainly no "Thinking Out Loud."

Till death do us potato

It's probably not that surprising that an artist and an oddball comedian didn't have a straightforward, traditional wedding, but some of the elements of Kate and T.J. Miller's nuptials were strange by any standard. Though the ceremony, held at the Denver Botanical Gardens, was undeniably gorgeous, there were certain elements that will leave you thinking, "Huh?"

For example, Town & Country reported that the bride and groom each had a signature drink made in their honor. For Kate, it was a "tequila base" cordial "served in a squirt gun," which, okay, we get that one given her artist handle and all. However, T.J.'s specialty spirit was "The Circus Peanut and was served in an old cologne bottle." We can't make heads or [cock]tails of that bizarre concoction.

A few other odd wedding deets can be gleaned from the video of the couple's 8mm highlight reel, like the part during their vows when T.J. used profanity. "No joke, that's real s**t," he actually said while professing his undying love to his bride. Then there was the curious involvement of potatoes. 

In what is possibly the strangest of the strange things about T.J. Miller's marriage, the goofball actor can be seen at the altar removing a potato from an ornate box, which the bride and groom held between them during the ceremony. In later scenes, piles of potatoes can be seen at the reception and being handled by guests while partying and dancing.

Asked how the tubers came to be incorporated into their special day, T.J. tweeted, "Potato was the theme I brought to the wedding. Mr. Potato head parts were given to guest along w a real potato." Great. That clears it right up!

The couple who denies together stays together

In December 2017, the Daily Beast reported on allegations of sexual assault against T.J. Miller brought by a former college girlfriend. Using the alias "Sarah," T.J.'s ex claimed that he abused her on multiple occasions, including choking, shaking, and punching her during sex. "Sarah" also alleged that T.J. engaged in several non-consensual acts during one of their encounters.

About a year after the alleged incidents, "Sarah" reported T.J. to campus police, after which he was tried by a "student court." The results of the trial are protected by federal privacy laws. However, rumors circulated that T.J. was "expelled after he graduated," which the Daily Beast surmised was "an attempt by the university to satisfy both parties."

After the story broke, T.J. and Kate issued a joint statement, along with the above photo, regarding the allegations. They characterized "Sarah" as a jilted ex-lover who lied in order to "wreak havoc on two happily married people in the public eye." The statement went a step further than a simple denial by suggesting that "Sarah" also manipulated the traction of the #MeToo movement "to muddy the water with an unrelated personal agenda."

Since the start of #MeToo, there have been a variety of ways in which famous men accused of sexual misconduct have responded in public. Rarely, if ever, have their wives joined them in their response, making this arguably aggressive defense tactic, co-signed by Kate, a particularly unique example of a united front.

Cleaning up T.J.'s messes

Prior to the allegations brought by "Sarah," T.J. Miller was accused of making derogatory statements toward women on multiple occasions. In February 2015, as the host of the 8th Annual Crunchies — an award show held for and by the giants of the tech industry — T.J. made misogynistic and racially insensitive comments, according to The Verge. In a subsequent interview with Vulture, T.J. offered commentary on why women aren't as funny as men.

Kate came to her husband's defense, speaking with Vanity Fair shortly after T.J.'s Vulture interview. Regarding T.J.'s willful embrace of his negative public persona — He told Vulture, "People need a villain, and I'm occupying that space." — Kate offered the following defense: "The most frustrating thing is to see that he's being funneled into a direction in this sort of political climate that is maybe a bit precarious, and that certain people will try to attach themselves to him or align him with certain factions that could be beneficial or drive readership or those kinds of things."

In regard to his commentary about women in comedy, Kate implied that he was misunderstood, and the his actual position on the matter is this: "He was not saying that women aren't funny. He was saying they are, and society steps in to discourage or shame or marginalize or dissuade them from being too much." Okay.

A romance borne of dance

During an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, T.J. Miller revealed the way he won Kate's heart back in their days at George Washington University: with his dance skills. T.J. told the host, who is no slouch herself in the rug-cutting department, that he knew of a childhood crush Kate had based solely on the kid's ability to "pop and lock," which is a dance style popularized and widely utilized by breakdancers.

Armed with this inside info, T.J. said he proceeded to pop and lock for Kate on the first night that he "really went for it with her." Of course, he also joked that what this actually translated to in reality was him "dancing her into his apartment," where she slept in his bed and he "passed out on the floor." 

Yeah, that sounds like exactly how that maneuver should have panned out.

Sparking a doob with dad

During the aforementioned Ellen interview, T.J. Miller also possibly put his father-in-law, Tom, on blast in a crazy way. Seated next to his daughter in the audience, Tom reacted in shocked embarrassment as his kooky new son told millions of daytime talk show viewers about how they get high together thanks to T.J.'s medical marijuana license. Yeah.

"It's been really fun to see him embrace the medical marijuana culture," T.J. said of his wife's old man, who at the time was living with the couple in Los Angeles for a few months. Saying he uses the legal weed for "anxiety," and that Tom uses it for his "bad back," T.J. confessed, "If you smoke too much marijuana with your father-in-law, it gets very weird."

He then recounted the story of how during a smoke sesh between the two, Tom literally hallucinated other people being in the room while T.J. rambled on and professed his love for Kate. "It's just a different vibe, I'd say," is how T.J. concluded the super awkward anecdote. Uh, yeah, we're thinking Thanksgiving is going to have a whole different vibe from now on as well.

Stepping out from T.J.'s shadow

In June 2017, Page Six ran a story about Kate Miller with a headline that referred to her only as "T.J. Miller's wife." The story, which has since been updated to include her first name in the headline, was about an "art happening" she was launching in New York City. It literally had nothing to do with T.J., and yet, his name was invoked in the headline.

Kate took issue with the perceived slight and penned an essay for Refinery29, titled "Please Stop Calling Me "T.J. Miller's Wife." In an attempt to open a dialogue about feminism — she and T.J. are both feminists, she claims — Kate described her individual accomplishments as an artist and expressed the need for the spouses of famous men to be recognized outside of that relationship.

"Too often accomplished women are defined singularly by their marriages, to the point where they are literally written off and their successes and descriptions diminished," Kate wrote. She also made a point to celebrate the "unique advantages both personally and professionally" that being married to T.J. has afforded her.

"At the end of the day, I love being married to T.J. and I love being Kate Miller (and loved being Kate Gorney before that)," she said. "I also love being RosePetalPistol the artist, an independently successful woman. Our marriage is a true partnership, one where neither of us is claimed as the other's at the expense of themselves."