A man claiming to be William Shatner's son is suing the Star Trek actor for $170m (£118.1m). Peter Sloan, 59, filed the libel, defamation and slander civil lawsuit last week against Shatner, 85, in Florida.
Peter Sloan, whose mother Kathy McNeil gave him up for adoption soon after he was born, filed the suit after his mother wrote him a letter revealing that the 85-year-old may be his biological father. According to Page Six, McNeil, a Canadian actress, claimed she had an affair with Shatner around the time she became pregnant.
In an interview with Inside Edition, Sloan described meeting the TV star in 1984 on the set of TJ Hooker. He said that upon confronting him, the actor initially admitted to being his father. "At that point he said, 'I just don't understand what you want from me.' I said, 'I just want to hold my father in my arms.' I started to cry, he was crying as well and then he lifted me up and held me in his arms."
Sloan said that a week after the meeting, a representative for Shatner contacted him to deny the paternity claims and asked him not to go public. However, Sloan continued to pursue the actor and in 2011, he brought his daughter to an event in Florida featuring Shatner. "She went up to him and said: 'Can I give you a hug?'" said Sloan. "He said: 'Of course.' She gave him a hug and then she whispered in his ear: 'I am your granddaughter.'"
Sloan said that he subsequently received a letter from Shatner's lawyer, Eric Hyman, which said that he is just one of many people to have claimed the actor is their father. He stated Shatner "confirmed to me once again that he is not your father. 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."
Sloan, who hosts a local radio show under the name Peter Shatner, later registered the Web domain petershatner.com, court documents said. In his lawsuit, he alleged that his Peter Shatner account on Twitter was shut down for violating its impersonation policy and his Internet Movie Database (IMDb) account also was removed.
He is now seeking $30 million in compensatory damages, $90 million in punitive damages and $50 million for pain and suffering and hopes the lawsuit will force Shatner to take a paternity test and cease claiming that he is not Sloan's father. Shatner has repeatedly denied that Sloan is his son and the actor's legal team have reportedly sent Sloan letters asking him to stop using the Shatner name.
In a radio interview in January, Shatner was asked to comment on Sloan's claims that he is his son. "Well, everyone looks like me," the 85-year-old said. "He's apparently a lovely man who's in need of a father." He denied there was any truth to the claims.
The Canadian actor has been married four times and has daughters Leslie, Lisabeth and Melanie from his first marriage to actress Gloria Rand. Since 2001, Shatner has been married to Elizabeth Martin.