A Tampa, Florida, man who has claimed for years that he is the unacknowledged son of actor William Shatner has filed a $170 million suit for paternity and other claims.
The Tampa Tribune reported Tuesday that 59-year-old Peter Sloan, an estate planner and life-insurance broker, filed the suit Friday in his local county court. He is not represented by counsel.
“I have endured quite a bit over the years and always stayed above the fray in terms of going after him for anything,” Sloan told the paper. “There has been a pattern of behavior that makes me look like I am lying and I won’t stand for that anymore. I am tired of being called a fraud by his people and him.”
The suit cites a statement by Shatner publicist Cherry Hepburn, who told the Tribune in May 2015, “This person has fraudulently portrayed himself as Mr. Shatner’s son for years.” Sloan’s suit also claims Shatner’s social media account posted a message that same month saying Sloan was involved in a “big con game for fame.” No post of that sort currently appears.
Hepburn did not respond to a Newsday request for comment.
Sloan — who moved from New York to Tampa in 2010 and uses the stage name Peter Shatner when hosting local radio shows and charity events — told the Tribune that his mother, the late Kathy Burt, and Shatner knew each other as young actors in Toronto. They allegedly slept together one night in March 1956, and Sloan, born without Shatner’s knowledge, was adopted as an infant by photojournalist George Tilden Orick and his wife Barbara. After that couple divorced, Barbara married John Sloan. All are now deceased.
Sloan says he had a meeting with Shatner in 1984 to discuss the issue, though he has no documentation. In 2011, Sloan and his youngest daughter, then 14, attended a ticketed birthday party for Shatner at an Orlando, Florida, comics convention. Shatner, who turned 85 on March 22, posed for a photo with Sloan, as he did with other attendees.
Since May of last year, Shatner’s Twitter page has featured a pinned tweet reading, “My children are my life. I have three kids in total; Leslie, Lisabeth & Melanie. They are my reason to get up & live each day to the fullest.”