Ex-San Diego Chargers star Shawne Merriman is being sued by the parents of a deceased Playboy employee, who claim he drugged and possibly assaulted their daughter before she overdosed while partying with him ... but Merriman flat-out denies wrongdoing.
The employee was Kimberly Fattorini, who died in 2017. At the time, her death was ruled accidental, with the cause being overdose from a cocktail of substances ... including booze, coke and a commonly used date rape drug known as GHB.
In a lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Kimberly's parents claim that she and some friends went to a club event 'cause of an invite from a promoter, who the parents allege went on to host the girls at his house, continuing to party into the early morning.
The lawsuit alleges that the promoter texted Shawne at some point the next day, saying ... "Got 3 whores over," with the idea being that Shawne could take a couple off his hands.
Kimberly's parents go on to claim that Shawne did in fact show up, and was allegedly witnessed carrying a bottle with some sort of liquid inside. After that, the parents allege that Kimberly texted the promoter from inside the house saying, "you friend just poor'd half G in my drink," and the parents believe G refers to GHB, which is a powerful depressant.
The lawsuit alleges Kimberly sent a number of texts afterward that made no sense, with the implication being that she was incredibly intoxicated. The suit claims that Kimberly, Shawne and a friend of hers then went to her friend's place after ... and then around 3 PM, a 911 call was placed by Kimberly's friend who found her unresponsive.
Kimberly's parents claim that first responders found her "half-naked with her jeans unzipped and unbottoned." They also allege Shawne was in the room when 911 was called, and that he made clear to the present parties that he didn't want it known he was there.
The suit alleges that a preliminary report from the autopsy didn't indicate any foul play, but they also note that a test for sexual assault wasn't done because officials said it wasn't conducted at the time of the initial autopsy, and couldn't be done properly afterward.
Now for an alleged text Kimberly's parents claim they dug up between a friend of Kimberly's and the promoter who initially invited Shawne ... it allegedly read, "Shawn killed her ass, what a f***ing idiot." Another alleged text from the promoter reads, "That dumbass been drugging girls for years."
The complaint claims negligence, battery and a violation of the drug dealer liability act. The family's asking for damages.
As for Shawne, a representative for him tells TMZ ... "As of right now Shawne, nor his attorney, have any knowledge of him being named in any lawsuit. This alleged lawsuit is baseless. Shawne attended an after party more than two years ago where a young woman unfortunately overdosed."
His rep goes on, "The police thoroughly investigated and found no wrong doing whatsoever by Shawne. The fact that they are raising this now, two years after the fact, demonstrates the baseless nature of these allegations."