In an interview in The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, model Scott R. Brunton accused Star Trek actor George Takei of sexual assault, which allegedly took place in the actor’s condo in 1981. In a response on Twitter, Takei says he is “shocked and bewildered” at the accusation, and says the incident “simply did not occur.”
Brunton claims he met Takei at a bar when he was 23, and says they exchanged numbers and spoke from time to time. When Brunton broke up with his boyfriend, Takei invited him to dinner, and ended up at Takei’s home for drinks. Brunton says Takei offered him a drink, and soon thereafter, he felt “disoriented and dizzy” and passed out, waking up to find Takei groping him. THR says several of Brunton’s friends have confirmed that Brunton told them the story over the years.
This morning, Takei refuted the account in a series of Tweets.
Friends,— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017
I'm writing to respond to the accusations made by Scott R. Bruton. I want to assure you all that I am as shocked and bewildered at these claims as you must feel reading them. /1
The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now. I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do. /2— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017
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
The accusation comes after a series of high-profile allegations of sexual abusers in Hollywood, stemming from reports about Harvey Weinstein, and growing to include individuals such as Kevin Spacey and Amazon Studios executive Roy Price. Yesterday, The New York Times published allegations from five women who say they were sexually harassed by comedian Louis CK, who confirmed the accounts were true.
Takei is best known for playing Hikaru Sulu in the original 1960s Star Trek series and follow-up films. He came out as gay in 2005, and has been a vocal activist for LGBT rights on social media.
Brunton explained to THR that he sought to confront the actor years later, but “couldn't bring myself to do it. It was just too uncomfortable." He says he’s thought about going public with his story for years, and that the ongoing scandal prompted him to come forward. Last month, Star Trek : Discovery actor Anthony Rapp told BuzzFeed News that Kevin Spacey made unwanted advances when Rapp was a minor, which has resulted in a highly public fall for Spacey: he has since been fired from his television show House of Cards, and will be replaced by Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World, which is set to hit theaters on December 22nd. Louis CK has gone through a similar process, with The Orchard dropping his new movie I Love You, Daddy a week before release, and FX and HBO cutting ties with the actor. It remains to be seen what kind of backlash Takei will face.