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George Takei denies a claim that he sexually assaulted a former model-actor in 1981.
On Friday, The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Scott R. Brunton, who was 23-years-old when he said the Star Trek actor took advantage of him following a dinner date.
"Friends, 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," he tweeted on 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."
"But I do take these claims very seriously, and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment," he added. "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."
Brunton said he was just starting a career in show business when he struck up a friendship with Takei, then 43, after meeting at a bar. After his romantic relationship soured, Brunton recalled Takei being "very good at consoling me and understanding that I was upset and still in love with my boyfriend." According to Brunton, Takei invited him to dinner one evening, and the two went back to the actor's condo for a drink.
After finishing one drink, Brunton told THR Takei offered him another one, which he drank. Brunton recalled suddenly "feeling very disoriented and dizzy," adding, "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."
When he woke up, Brunton said his pants were pulled down around his ankles and Takei was groping his crotch and trying to remove his underwear.
He said, "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.'"
Brunton, who described himself as "shocked," then went to his car and drove home after feeling better.
Brunton that years later, he contacted Takei during his book tour and the two met up for coffee. "I wanted to see him," he shared. "I always wanted to ask him—I just felt really betrayed. I thought I was a friend and here I am later, just another piece of meat... We met for coffee, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It was just too uncomfortable."
As for why he's coming forward now, Brunton initially thought Takei's star power outweighed the validity of his claims. "Who's going to believe me? It's my word against his," he said. It wasn't until Takei condemned Kevin Spacey's alleged misconduct against Anthony Rapp, that Brunton reconsidered his options.
As Takei said in a statement to THR regarding the scorned House of Cards actor, "When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong. 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. They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it."
In October, Howard Stern asked Takei on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM if he ever "grabbed" any man's penis "against their will."
Takei paused, then said, "It's some people that are kind of skittish or maybe afraid and you're trying to persuade."
"Do we need to call the police?" Stern joked. "But you never held a job over someone..."
"No, no, no, I never did that," Takei replied. "It wasn't at work. It was either in my home, they came to my home...it didn't involve power over the other."