Late Friday night The Hollywood Reporter kicked off a wave of media around the world with an interview with a former male model who accused Star Trek actor George Takei of sexual misconduct in 1981. Takei, who is traveling in Asia promoting screenings of his play Allegiance, has now responded, denying the claims.
Scott R. Brunton (who was 23 at the time) tells THR the encounter in question took place at the condo of Takei (who was 44). According to Brunton’s account, after “feeling very disoriented and dizzy” following several drinks he passed out, only to later awake half-undressed with Takei “groping” him. Burton says he told Takei he wasn’t interested and after Takei told him he was just trying to help him relax, he dressed and left.
This morning Takei took to Twitter to deny the allegations. Here is his full statement (which was split over 6 tweets):
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.
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.
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.
Brad, who is 100 percent beside me on this, as my life partner of more than 30 years and now my husband, stands fully by my side. I cannot tell you how vital it has been to have his unwavering support and love in these difficult times.
Thanks to many of you for all the kind words and trust. It means so much to us.
Yours in gratitude,
According to the report last night, THR spoke to a number of Brunton’s friends who confirmed he had recounted the story to them years ago. Brunton says he never told the story to the media before for fear that he would not be believed.
This report is just one of a wave of revelations in recent weeks about Hollywood celebrities, including Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp who accused actor Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct when Rapp was underage. Following that incident, Takei gave his full support to Rapp and condemned Spacey, stating that “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.”
TrekMovie will continue to update this story as additional developments emerge