A former actor and model has accused George Takei, 80, of sexual assault, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Scott R. Brunton claims that the gay actor and activist, who is best known for playing Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series, took advantage of him in 1981. Brunton was 23 years old at the time of the alleged incident, and Takei would have been 43 or 44.
“This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it,” Brunton tells THR. “It is one of those stories you tell with a group of people when people are recounting bizarre instances in their lives, this always comes up. I have been telling it for years, but I am suddenly very nervous telling it.”
The alleged incident occurred in Hollywood when Brunton, an aspiring actor and model, was working as a waiter. Brunton says that he and Takei exchanged numbers after meeting at a gay club, and that they occasionally called one another and continued to socialize at clubs.
Although Brunton had a boyfriend at the time, he says that Takei invited him to dinner and the theater. “He was a great ear,” Brunton recalls. “He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve.” Later, after Brunton broke up with his boyfriend, he went to Takei’s L.A. condo for a drink.
“We have the drink and he asks if I would like another,” Brunton says. “And I said sure. So, I have the second one, and then all of a sudden, I begin feeling very disoriented and dizzy, and I thought I was going to pass out. I said I need to sit down and he said sit over here and he had the giant yellow beanbag chair. So I sat down in that and leaned my head back and I must have passed out.”
“The next thing I remember I was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and he was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off and feeling me up at the same time, trying to get his hands down my underwear,” Brunton continues.
“I came to and said, ’What are you doing?!’ I said, ’I don’t want to do this.’ He goes, ’You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable.’ And I said, ’No. I don’t want to do this.’ And I pushed him off and he said, ’OK, fine.’ And I said I am going to go and he said, ’If you feel you must. You’re in no condition to drive.’ I said, ’I don’t care I want to go.’ So I managed to get my pants up and compose myself and I was just shocked. I walked out and went to my car until I felt well enough to drive home, and that was that.”
Brunton says he met Takei for coffee years later but felt “too uncomfortable” to confront him about the incident.
Four of Brunton’s friends have confirmed to THR that Brunton had told them about the Takei encounter years ago. Brunton previously considered going to the media with his story, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. “Who’s going to believe me?” he says. “It’s my word against his.”
Brunton finally decided to come forward after being infuriated that Takei addressed Anthony Rapp’s similar accusations against Kevin Spacey. Takei publicly criticized Spacey shortly after Rapp, who stars in the latest Star Trek series, accused the older actor of sexually assaulting him in 1986.
“When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong,” Takei told THR in a statement. “For Anthony Rapp, he has had to live with the memory of this experience of decades ago. For Kevin Spacey, who claims not to remember the incident, he was the older, dominant one who had his way. Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight—that is a deflection.T hey do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.”
“I don’t want anything from him but an apology,” Brunton says. “I am sure he’ll disown all this, I don’t know, maybe not.”
Initially unreachable for comment while traveling, Takei took to Twitter this morning to deny Brunton’s accusations, which he says have left him “shocked and bewildered.” He adds that he does not remember Brunton at all.
“But those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful,” Takei writes.
Right now it is a he said / he said situation, over alleged events nearly 40 years ago. But those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful. /4
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017