William Shatner, famous for his role as Captain Kirk in Star Trek, is facing a very expensive and tabloid-worthy legal challenge. The 85-year-old star of stage and screen has been named in a $170 million lawsuit filed by a 59-year-old man claiming to be his son. Peter Sloan filed the lawsuit against William Shatner in a Florida court last week, reports the Daily Mail. In addition to demanding that William Shatner submit to a DNA test to prove his paternity, the lawsuit is also seeking damages for libel, slander, and defamation.
The lawsuit against Shatner also demands that the TV star cease claiming that he is not the father of Sloan.
William Shatner has repeatedly denied being the father of Peter Sloan, and Shatner’s attorneys have sent multiple letters demanding that the 59-year-old stop using the Shatner name.
According to Peter Sloan’s lawsuit, he personally met William Shatner back in 1984 when Shatner was starring in the television show T.J. Hooker. He claims that during their initial meeting, Shatner admitted to being his biological father.
The lawsuit also claims that a few days after the pair met and Shatner reportedly claimed to be Sloan’s father, Peter Sloan was contacted by a representative for William Shatner and told that Shatner was “totally denying paternity at this point,” as well as refusing to undergo a DNA test.
In subsequent years, Sloan registered the internet domain petershatner.com. In 2011, Peter Sloan began a radio show under the name Peter Shatner, according to documents filed with the court.
It was after the radio show and public use of the Shatner surname that Peter Sloan was contacted by William Shatner’s lawyer, Eric Hyman. In November 2011, the attorney reportedly wrote a letter to Sloan once again denouncing the latter’s claimed relationship to William Shatner.
“There have been many people over the years who have claimed to be his children or other relatives.
“He is an incredibly busy, 80-year-old man, and is not interested in spending time discussing this issue with you.”
In his lawsuit, Peter Sloan claims that William Shatner’s denial of paternity resulted in his Twitter account under the name of Peter Shatner being shut down, purportedly because it violated the social media site’s “impersonation policy.” Peter Sloan’s Internet Movie Database account was also reportedly deleted.
Sloan is seeking, through his civil lawsuit, a total of $170 million in compensation. He is asking for $30 million in compensatory damages, $90 million in punitive damages, and $50 million in damages related to the “pain and suffering” he claims to have endured.
“Mr. Shatner has three lovely daughters, but no sons… Mr. Shatner is aware of the lawsuit, but there’s nothing there because he isn’t his father.”
Shatner is originally from Canada and has been married four times. According to William Shatner and his representatives, his only biological children are his daughters Leslie, Lisabeth, and Melanie, all of whom were the result of his first marriage to actress Gloria Rand. Shatner is currently married to Elizabeth Martin, and has been since 2001.
Page Six reports that William Shatner’s alleged son had a rough start. His conception was reportedly the result of an affair that took place between Shatner and (late) Canadian actress Kathy McNeil in Toronto. Peter Sloan was placed for adoption when he was just 5 days old.
Despite Sloan’s tear-jerking beginnings, social media users seem to think that he’s asking for too much too late from his maybe-dad.
@CNN dna test for 500 bucks solves paternity. Back support at 59 years old?? Thats a lil insane.— toby merker (@twheels1980) March 30, 2016
@CNN OMG what's this world come to? If judge allows this he must allow all adopted children to sue their birth parents. What a fool.— Toy Eastes (@ToyEastes) March 30, 2016
At this early stage, it appears that the crux of Peter Sloan’s $170 million lawsuit against William Shatner is going to hinge on the results of the DNA test he’s demanding. That is, if a judge orders that Shatner must comply with the testing in the first place. It remains to be seen whether or not Sloan has a viable claim against Shatner even if William Shatner is determined to be Peter Sloan’s biological father.
[Image Courtesy Of Ethan Miller/Getty Images]