George Takei seen on stage during WE Day on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Toronto. Arthur Mola Invision/AP
George Takei seen on stage during WE Day on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Toronto. Arthur Mola Invision/AP

National

'Simply did not occur': George Takei denies sexual assault allegation

By Matthew Martinez

mmartinez@star-telegram.com

November 11, 2017 08:59 AM

UPDATED November 11, 2017 02:53 PM

“Star Trek” icon George Takei responded in a series of tweets Saturday to sexual assault allegations from former model Scott R. Brunton.

Brunton accused Takei of “groping” him in 1981 during a visit to Takei’s Los Angeles condominium in an interview Friday with the Hollywood Reporter.

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. /1

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

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

According to the Reporter, Brunton said he was at Takei’s condo having drinks, when he began to feel dizzy. He said he decided to rest on Takei’s giant bean bag chair.

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“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 told Hollywood Reporter. “I came to and said, ‘What are you doing? I don’t want to do this.’ He goes, ‘You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable.’”

Brunton’s account of the incident involves an initially friendly relationship marked by mutual friends and phone calls with Takei. But in Takei’s response on Twitter, the actor claimed, “I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do.”

Takei has been married since 2008 to his partner Brad Takei, formerly Brad Altman. He played Lt. Hukaru Sulu on the original “Star Trek” television series, which ran from 1966 through 1969.

He is an author and an activist and has been an advocate for LGBTQ rights. In his five-tweet denial thread Saturday, Takei said, “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.”

But I do take these claims very seriously, and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment. /3

— 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

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. /5

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 11, 2017

Brunton was 23 at the time of the alleged incident. Takei was in his early 40s.

Brunton’s allegations against Takei come amid a wave of similar accusations against other high-profile actors, Hollywood figures and prominent men in other fields.

Over 80 women have come forward to allege that producer Harvey Weinstein either sexually assaulted, harassed or raped them. Since then, there have been accusations leveled against NBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin, director James Toback, actors Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, comedian Louis C.K. and director Brett Ratner, NBC reported.

Look at the overwhelmingly positive responses to #metoo, a hashtag for survivors of sexual abuse

Actress Alyssa Milano got an idea from a friend of a friend on Facebook to elevate the Harvey Weinstein conversation. She took the idea to Twitter, posting: "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet." The hashtag #MeToo was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours, according to Twitter.

Lena Blietz lblietz@star-telegram.com