George Takei denies 1981 sexual assault claim
Star Trek legend and outspoken activist George Takei has responded to a sexual assault claim made by former model and actor Scott Brunton that date back to 1981.
“Friends, I’m writing to respond to the accusations made by Scott R. [Brunton]. I want to assure you all that I am as shocked and bewildered at these claims as you must feel reading them,” Takei wrote on Twitter early Saturday. “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.”
Takei added in the multi-tweet response that he takes the claims made by Brunton “very seriously” but also wanted to respond to the allegations “not out of the moment.”
“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,” Takei wrote. Read his full response below.
In an interview published by The Hollywood Reporter late Friday, Brunton, who was 23 at the time and just starting his career as a commercial model and actor, said he was living in Hollywood when he met a then 43- or 44-year-old Takei at a bar. Brunton claimed the two struck up a friendship soon after and later spent an evening together at dinner and a show after Brunton broke up with his boyfriend. Brunton alleged the evening ended at Takei’s home.
“We have the drink and he asks if I would like another,” Brunton said to 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.”
Brunton alleged when he awoke, Takei “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 claimed he asked Takei what he was doing. “He goes, ‘You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable,'” Brunton claimed. “And I said, ‘No. I don’t want to do this.’ And I pushed him off and he said, ‘Okay, fine.'” Brunton said he put his pants back on and left, even after Takei warned him he was “in no condition to drive.”
“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 said. According to THR, Brunton’s story was corroborated by four of his friends who recalled Brunton telling them about the incident.