UPDATE: In a series of tweets Saturday, actor George Takei responds to being accused of sexual assault in 1981 saying: “I am as shocked and bewildered at these claims as you must feel reading them.” He says flatly that the alleged groping “simply did not occur” and that the 80 year old does not remember accuser Scott R Brunton. Takei says: “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.”
Please see Tweets at the end.
Here’s the story: …..
The Harvey Weinstein scandal opened the floodgates and long simmering secret stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault are pushing their way into the sunlight. The latest alleged sordid affair involves “Star Trek” and LGBT icon George Takei.
Former model and actor Scott R. Brunton tells the Hollywood Reporter (THR) that Takei groped him in 1981. Brunton was 23 at the time, working as a waiter in Hollywood as he tried start a career as an actor and model. He met Takei, then 43 or 44 at the popular gay Greg’s Blue Dot bar on Highland, where out disco singer Sylvester performed. Brunton says the two men met and exchanged numbers.
The year before, Takei, who was still in the closet, had considered a political life, campaigning for the California State Assembly in 1980, until his opponent said reruns of “Star Trek” amounted to free campaign ads and asked for “equal time.”
Brunton tells THR that he got back in touch with Takei after he and his then-boyfriend broke up and he had moved out. Not long thereafter Takei called.
Brunton says Takei invited him to dinner and the theater. “He was very good at consoling me and understanding that I was upset and still in love with my boyfriend,” Brunton tells THR. “He was a great ear. He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve.”
After the night out, the two went back to Takei’s apartment. “We have the drink and he asks if I would like another,” Brunton tells THR. “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.”
This is Brunton’s account of what happened:
“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 says. “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 that even though the incident happened a long time ago, “I have never forgotten it.” And, he says, it’s a story he’s told to groups of people over the years.
THR spoke with four of Brunton’s longtime friends “who said that he had confided in them about the Takei encounter years ago.”
Brunton says he connected with Takei years later when the actor was on a book tour in Portland, where Brunton now lives. He says he wanted to ask Takei why he did what he did—but “I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was just too uncomfortable.”
THR reached out to Takei’s representative, Julia Buchwald, who said “George is traveling in Japan and Australia and not reachable for comment.”
Brunton says he decided to finally come forward and tell his story to the media because of how Takei responded to the allegations by actor Anthony Rapp against actor Kevin Spacey.
“When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong,” Takei said of the Spacey claim in a statement to THR on Oct. 30.
The comment infuriated Brunton. “I don’t want anything from him but an apology,” he says. “I am sure he’ll disown all this, I don’t know, maybe not.”
Takei, now 80, is married to Brad Altman. On June 17, 2008, they were the first gay couple to apply for a marriage license in the West Hollywood City auditorium. They married Sept. 14, 2008, at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.