George Takei accused of assaulting a young model in Hollywood in 1981

George Takei

George Takei is a beloved figure in Hollywood and beyond. He’s an icon to the LGBTQ community, to the Asian-American community, to Trekkies, to progressives and liberals and more. He’s 80 years old and good at social media. He regularly stands up for the oppressed and marginalized among us. And because we can’t have nice things, it turns out that George Takei is being accused of sexually assaulting (and perhaps drugging?) a former model in 1981. The Hollywood Reporter did an interview with the accuser, Scott Brunton, about the alleged assault:

A former model and actor is accusing Star Trek icon George Takei of sexual assault in 1981. The accuser, Scott R. Brunton, who was 23 at the time of the alleged incident, claims that Takei took advantage of him when he was most vulnerable.

“This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it,” Brunton tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview. “It is one of those stories you tell with a group of people when people are recounting bizarre instances in their lives, this always comes up. I have been telling it for years, but I am suddenly very nervous telling it.”

Brunton says he was living in Hollywood in 1981, working as a waiter and beginning a career as a commercial actor and model when he met a 43- or 44-year-old Takei one evening at Greg’s Blue Dot bar. The men exchanged numbers and would call one another from time to time as well as run into each other at clubs, Brunton says. When Brunton broke up with his then-boyfriend, he spoke with Takei. “He said, ‘Let me know what your new number is’ and I did. And not long after we broke up and I moved out, George called me,” Brunton recalls.

Takei, as Brunton tells it, 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 says. “He was a great ear. He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve.” The two men went back to the actor’s condo for a drink the same night. “We have the drink and he asks if I would like another,” Brunton recalls. “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.”

“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 claims that he met up with Takei years after the incident in Portland, Brunton’s current home, while the actor was there on a book tour. “I wanted to see him,” Brunton says. “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. So I called him up at the hotel — I figured out which hotel he was at — and he said ‘Hi, Scott. I remember you.’ I wanted to ask him why. We met for coffee, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was just too uncomfortable.”

Brunton says he considered going to the media with the story for years, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. “Who’s going to believe me? It’s my word against his,” he says.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Is George Takei the Bill Cosby of gay actors? God, I hope not, but Brunton’s story sounds believable, doesn’t it? Brunton says he decided to tell his story because he felt Takei’s statement about Kevin Spacey seemed hypocritical – Takei specifically spoke about Spacey’s claim that he didn’t remember assaulting Anthony Rapp, and how that claim is part of Spacey’s deflection. Guess what Takei did when he made a public statement on social media? Yeah.

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. 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.

[From George Takei’s Twitter]

Takei doesn’t remember him. Given the specificity of Brunton’s story – the drinks, the yellow beanbag, the invitation to Takei’s apartment – I find it hard to believe that Takei and Brunton never, ever met. In any case, Brunton says all he wants from Takei is an apology. I doubt he’ll get it.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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75 Responses to “George Takei accused of assaulting a young model in Hollywood in 1981”

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  1. Nicole says:

    Yea all of Hollywood can go tbh.

  2. CharlotteCharlotte says:

    No. Oh no. No.

    I believe you, Scott.

    This hurts.

    My brain really wants to come up with ways to make this be innocent, but still believe Scott.

    • CharlotteCharlotte says:

      Apparently he gave an interview in Howard Stern that implied he had forced himself on younger gay men. I had no idea. I’m actually crying.

      • aims says:

        Me too! I adore George and am a Facebook friend. I love his posts and enjoy him in general. It would be hypocritical of me to look the other way or accuse this man of lying just because I like George. So sadly, with a heavy heart I am going to have to believe his accuser. It isn’t okay that anyone can assault someone else regardless of their sexuality. Wrong is wrong. Bummer man!

    • kacy says:

      I believe him too. I was always weirded out by George Takei. I was raised really conservatively and have had to work through that and how it gave me perceptions of people. When I found out he was gay, I attributed that feeling I had to my still working on these issues (this was years ago). But when I heard the story this weekend, I was like no, gut feeling was right…

    • Lorelai says:

      This is all so, so upsetting.

      I understand that it needed to happen, starting with Weinstein, but having a new accusation Every. Single. Day. for almost a month now is so rough.

      The most recent ones I’ve heard are Matthew Weiner and Richard Dreyfuss.

      When does this end?

      I believe that the vast majority of these claims are true. But I’m also concerned that not one single criminal charge has been filed against Harvey, Spacey, or anyone else. It feels like this is getting into dangerous territory with new names being put forward every day with no investigation of any kind. It is all conflicting and awful.

    • Sherry says:

      “My brain really wants to come up with ways to make this be innocent, but still believe Scott.”

      Thank you for believing the victim. I am so tired of reading the mental gymnastics of my husband and his conservative friends (including women) twisting themselves into pretzels to justify supporting Moore. It makes me nauseous.

      I am relieved that victims finally feel safe enough to come forward with their stories, whether those stories happened an hour, a week, a month, or decades ago.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      I was so bummed about this when reading about it a few days ago. I believe Scott.

  3. Alissa says:

    maybe I’m being naive, but I’m having a really hard time believing this one. I actually would need more than one person to come forward, especially if his MO was to drug people. That’s not really a one and done.

  4. Scarlett says:

    Based off his interview on Stern, if you “have to persuade someone because they are skittish”, it is still assault. I am sorry but there is something that rubbed me the wrong way about GT and I am not even remotely surprised, it’s ironic how those that act all “holier than thou” are usually the ones that aren’t.

    I believe you, Brunton.

  5. detritus says:

    I believe Brunton.
    We either extend the benefit of the doubt, the assumption the accuser is innocent of lying until proven so, or we don’t.

    Applying based on what the statements looked like or didn’t, that isn’t consistent and introduces bias. It say , we believe you, but only if the accused isn’t liberal, put out a bad statement, and we don’t personally like them, that’s not productive and it’s hypocritical.

    I’m surprised the Howard Stern interview from last month wasn’t mentioned here though.

      • Alissa says:

        aren’t accused supposed to be innocent until proven guilty though?

        so do we just believe people who accuse others of things, period? or are we limiting it to accusations of sexual assault and harassment?

      • detritus says:

        Alissa, you are choosing to believe someone accused of rape and lying is telling the truth. I choose to believe the person only accused of lying, the one who was only accused of lying as a reaction.

      • Sixer says:

        The standard of proof IN COURT is that the state must prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt before it (the state) can enact punishment against the accused (a free citizen). These are democratic protections. Nothing to do with investigating reported crimes.

        Nothing to do with a) what I think about the information presented, b) what you think about the information presented, c) how authorities should proceed when at the investigation stage of intimate crimes, for which conviction rates are abysmally low.

        If somebody goes into a police station and reports a mugging, the default actions by the police are to believe the complainant, file a crime report, and investigate. Not to disbelieve them and tell them to bugger off. Why should it be any different if someone comes forward about sexual assault?

        When people report a crime to the police, or come forward publicly about being the victim of a crime, they are almost always being truthful. Very occasionally, people report crimes that didn’t happen. This is why the default is to believe the victim.

      • Nikki says:

        I have been both a rape victim, AND was once falsely accused of molesting a female student. Fortunately for me in the second case, she changed her story, and finally admitted to the police she’d made the whole thing up to get her boyfriend to pay more attention to her! Both were nightmares, but having been raped changed my life radically for decades, and still affects me today despite years of therapy. Most of the people like Weinstein, Louis CK, etc. had a pattern of sexist or domineering behavior even aside from their assaults. Since George T. has a long history of advocating rights and respect for all, I thought I’d take a “wait and see” attitude: see if anyone else came forward, because although it IS rare, people can accuse falsely for ulterior reasons. Then I followed the post above and heard his quotes on Howard Stern, and was literally nauseated. Pressuring and grabbing someone who is afraid??? He’s NOT the man we thought he was.

      • Nick says:

        @Alissa are you saying this about Ratner, Weinstein, Spacey, etc? Or just Takei?

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, that’s what has been bothering me all weekend, the people who are quick to believe all the victims except in this case because, I think, they just really like George. Although the timing right on the heels of the Moore scandal is a bit suspicious, I don’t see how we can treat this situation any differently just because George is beloved on the left. Sigh.

      • Alissa says:

        I will admit that I have been skeptical of most of the claims that haven’t involved someone who has been whispered about for years and years, such as Weinstein and Louis CK. but this is the only one I had serious doubts about, and maybe it’s just because he’s been such a vocal advocate for those being harassed and discriminated against. Maybe that was just a cover for him being an awful human being.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I have no reason not to believe that story. I’m going back to bed.

  6. Lolo86lf says:

    I believe Brunton. No one would hold and remember an experience like that for 36 years unless it was true. Takei can kiss his reputation goodbye. And yes, Brunton will never get a public apology from Takei. Perhaps if he would have asked for an apology privately maybe he would have gotten it.

  7. Jamie42 says:

    Brunton could have been in the apartment (and have seen the yellow beanbag) but not drugged or assaulted as he said–another possibility. This story sounds credible to me, but I continue to believe that uncritical belief is dangerous.
    On the other hand:
    It is curious how Takei’s response echoes Spacey’s–”I don’t remember, and I’m gay.”
    It’s also interesting (and believable!) that Brunton was finally moved to speak by what he perceived as Takei’s preachy hypocrisy about Spacey.

  8. Snazzy says:

    OMG I belive you Scott, of course I do.
    But this one hurts more than most
    Why is everyone such a disapointment?

  9. grabbyhands says:

    This one really bummed me out. Takei has been a voice of calm and humor over the past year and to watch him fall back on “Russian bots are posting all these fake stories because I’m a gay man etc” was really disappointing, to say the least.

    I would love to find out that it was in fact, not true-but falling back on the lamest of excuses makes it seem pretty clear that what Brunton said happened did happen.

  10. Nikki says:

    I deleted my entire post after I read about his Howard Stern interview. I feel nauseated, actually sick to my stomach, and am crying. Literally no male heroes left except Obama and Ruffalo. Please, God….

    • Darla says:

      Ruffalo is not a hero to me. I can’t stand him. But to each their own.

      Thankfully, we’ve got loads and loads of women heros! And more every day. As a heterosexual woman I’ve wondered to myself often:

      Come for the penis, stay for the…

      Stay for the what? Exactly.

      So now, I just come for the penis.

      • ell says:

        generally speaking i don’t stan much, and even with those celebs i actually like i have no problem admitting when they’re wrong. after all i don’t really know these people.

        but yes, i think it’s pretty obvious it’s easier to stan women than men, as men all seem to be collectively awful when in power (and not, unfortunately).

  11. Rosalee says:

    I’ll hold my judgement. It’s my opinion and as a gay woman who has been molested, sexually assaulted and physically abused. I have been the target of rumours and horrifying slander. Once a lie is released..it controls your life, I know I have first hand experience. On the Howard Steen Show – Steen delights in mocking or provoking salacious behaviour I would not take what is said on Steen’s Show as evidence of a person’s personal behaviour.

    • freewhitebaby7.0 says:

      Seriously asking. Did you listen to the Stern tape? Because I understand your point of view, and I too believed GT until I heard that interview. I also remembered why I don’t listen to Howard Stern, but that’s not the point. GT basically confessed (not sure why b/c Howard Stern wasn’t really pushing him until he started hemming and hawing).

  12. Nicegirl says:

    Thank you for your bravery, Scott.

  13. Chef Grace says:

    Putting people on pedestals is why it hurts. GT does not get a pass or benefit of the doubt from me. It will be interesting to see if more men come forward with stories about him.
    This whole ‘I don’t believe this for a minute’ defense of “beloved” celebrities makes my skin crawl. A predator is a predator. No matter who they are.

  14. ArchieGoodwin says:

    For me, the Howard Stern interview was very disturbing.
    If someone asked me “have you ever groped someone without their consent?” the answer is no.
    But George hesitates, and is asked more than once, and still does not reply. Then he comes out with some lame answer of “skittish”.

    And his statement- what does his husband have to do with it?

    So far no one else has accused him, so there’s that? Not really, once is enough. It doesn’t negate all the good he does, and will do. But yeah, I believe the victim.

  15. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m a long-time Trekkie. Since the 70s (shush it!), and this blows, yes it does. But the past months have done nothing but underscore and give tangible structure to my celebrity distaste. My incarceration dreams are most likely just dreams, but I believe every sordid piece of sexual crap bubbling to the surface. Shoot me now but… William Shatner. Come on. That wouldn’t surprise me either. And women cropping up as abusers feels imminent as well.

  16. Lucy2 says:

    Dammit. I thought he was one of the good guys.

  17. Mia4s says:

    Hard to say what will happen with this one. If no other accusers come forward? He will be fine. See also Jeffrey Tambor….oh and going back a few weeks further see also Usher. The public has short memories. People keep asking if one accusation should be enough? That’s a personal decision but I think it’s very clear in the court of public opinion it is not. The massive sea change we have seen these past few weeks is entirely based on multiple accusers. It troubles me but I understand it. The idea of a false accusation horrifies people (rare as they are) but the multiple accusations provide reinforcement. It’s a start. For a long time even multiple accusers were not enough. So we will see.

  18. CharlieBouquet says:

    “You can leave if you must, but you’re in no condition to drive cuz I drugged the shit out of you”
    Sigh. Another day another story about men taking what they want.

  19. Amy Tennant says:

    From what I have heard, and this is so much hearsay through so many people that it’s hardly worth bringing up, so take this with a pillar of salt, BUT… a lot of the papers and mags are using as a standard whether the assault was reported at the time. If it was reported at the time, they’re going with it. (And as we know, that’s not a great standard because it can take victims years to come to terms with what happened to them, or years to report because they’re afraid, etc). But that’s the rule of thumb these publications are using.

    George’s accuser did come forward at the time of the alleged assault. Take that how you will.

    I don’t want this one to be true either, trust me.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Historically victims are silenced, not believed and live with wide-reaching guilt leveled from all angles. For the time being, if we take accusations seriously up front, even bordering on guilty until proven innocent (we’re all aware of what happens in our judicial system)… I’m okay with it. I’m okay with doubling down on an accusation and allowing a soupy mess sort it out. It’s very telling when reading the alleged criminals shuffle through word salads. Innocence often needs little more than graceful awareness and restrained and respectful silence. Maturity has evaporated in this country, and social media is its nemises. Stupid comments about your plight and woe-is-me crap as a response to rape or assault should seal your coffin.

  20. crumbcake says:

    I followed GT on Facebook up until a few days ago and saw the denial he posted. . . .but then I listened to the Howard Stern audio where he is pretty much admitting to assaulting men without their permission, and laughing creepily about it. The words out of his own mouth was all I needed to hear. What a massive hypocrite. Not only do I believe Scott Brunton, I would not be surprised at all if there are many more men who suffered similar treatment. Sexual predators come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, sexual orientation and political persuasions. Although GT did stand up for a lot of issues I believe in, I think there needs to be one response across the board for people who think they have the right to abuse others, and that is simply to shut them down. So I recommend doing what I did – clicking the “unfollow” button. Goodbye, George!

  21. aang says:

    My first apartment, early 90′s, was shared with a friend and her middle age, gay, hiv +, uncle. The stories he told of gay NY in the 70′s and 80′s were very disturbing. I have no doubt stuff like this, and worse, was common, and that it wasn’t seen as abusive, or outside bounds by many. This excuses no one. Not even GT.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      This is why I’ve been so verbal about all these revelations. I was in my teens and 20s in the 80s and 90s and the stories are endless. But they were hushed and swept under rugs. I was encouraged, no strongly advised, to suck it up and carry on. In order to be a successful woman, I needed to be immune to men’s weaknesses… they simply can’t help themselves. It was fucking infuriating. I can’t imagine what working in the 60s was like. So yeah, we collectively cut accusations some slack and quit treating men as poor little penises with no place to go and that it’s their ‘nature.’ BAH!

  22. Olive says:

    would love to see this creepy, obnoxious guy go away once and for all

  23. Feedmechips says:

    All of these stories “outing” the creeps of Hollywood have forced me to take a look at myself, and consider whether I (a woman) have been complicit in this sort of treacherous behavior. I am an attorney in a firm that deals with a small niche-type field of law. The attorneys who practice this type of law all know each other very well. A former attorney from my firm (then, the most senior associate) had a crazy online presence. Someone somehow discovered that he had written and posted a three part rape fantasy about one of our colleagues. He didn’t even try to hide that it was about this colleague. ALL of the associates from my firm, some of the junior partners, and most attorneys outside of my firm knew about it. This guy is a Grade A swine. Noone can stand to be around him. I have no idea whether the subject of his disgusting stories ever found out about it. The named partners learned from the named partner of another firm. The guy ended up more or less being told that he’d never be made partner EVER, and eventually found a different firm (still in our field) where he constantly crept on his new secretary until she left to join another firm. These stories were written and discovered long before I joined the firm, but I do wonder whether there is anything I could have or should have done.

  24. sza says:

    So…this is again to hammer home that sexual predation/molestation/assault is a no boundaries kind of blight. Your age,gender sexual orientation,political affiliations and public persona mean NOTHING. The only thing that matters is that you are a predator. And you will treat your prey without mercy. We all need to remember that. Take care of yourselves, and teach your sons and daughters as best you can. They are everywhere-Hollywood,New York, hometown USA. Sigh.

  25. Amy Tennant says:

    I’m trying to think of a way to console the Takei fans who are hurting without sounding like I’m excusing him. Because there is no excuse for what he did (or is accused of doing, although what he has admitted to doing is bad enough). I’m thinking of Sister Helen Prejean and some of the things she has said in her crusade against the death penalty. She says that people are more than the worst thing they have ever done in their lives.

    Humans are complicated creatures. The George Takei that hurt these men is the same one who campaigned for gay rights, the same one who was detained in a containment camp during WWII and worked to spread awareness of that, the same one who made a lot of people smile. Maybe you can never look at him the same way, the same way I can never look at Bill Cosby the same way despite all the legitimate good he did. One doesn’t cancel out the other. But it doesn’t erase the other either.

    It’s okay to mourn. Don’t blame yourself for liking George before, because you didn’t know. Know there is dark and light in everyone. But we give our sympathy right now to Scott, who has carried this around with him all this time while people praised his attacker.

    • JRenee says:

      Thanks for saying so eloquently what I am feeling.
      So many thoughts..

    • Betsy says:

      This is so kind. I was just reading this string and wondering does anyone else feel like an idiot? Years ago when the Cosby thing became apparent and more than rumors, I said I felt like a tool that Cosby is in my head: his TV family was one of the first black families that I “knew,” his “picture pages” song plays occasionally without me really thinking of it, etc.

      And now Takei, who I don’t know much about but I liked his funny voiceover on Community and I just think, am I dumb? I didn’t get any strong vibes off him. I had no idea. I totally believe his accuser, but I just feel like… should I have known somehow? How am I responsible here? What’s my culpability?

    • tracking says:

      Hear, hear (still brokenhearted about Cosby–the Cosby Show set such a beautiful ideal of a family unit, on so many levels–and I can’t watch it now, even though it was a genuinely good thing that terrible man did)

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I just want to correct my blunder. I meant “internment camp” when I said “containment camp.” Like Sean Spicer saying “Holocaust centers” for “concentration camps”! I don’t like Spicer, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt for having a brain episode and losing the word then because that happens to me all the time. I felt like “containment” camp wasn’t right for some reason.

        Thank you all for your kind words and understanding my intentions. I get Picture Pages stuck in my head too.

  26. Talia says:

    I wonder if anyone can confirm if George Takei has ever owned a yellow beanbag 🤔

  27. Laura says:

    I don’t want to believe it, but I do. And it’s disturbing to me how much his FB followers are insisting he’s innocent, when he said on Howard Stern that he has grabbed men without their consent. When Trump said he grabbed women by the pussy, we believed him. We need to believe Takei too.
    Also creepy are the obvious Trump
    Fans that are responding to the allegations with unconcealed glee.

  28. msd says:

    He didn’t deny it. If it was someone we didn’t like, we wouldn’t hesitate to condemn them.

    Having said that, people can behave a certain way and then be quite different 30 or 40 years later. They need to at least acknowledge their past behaviour, though. And genuinely apologise with no ifs, buts, maybes for the hurt they caused. Then we can judge or decide to forgive. That’s why I put someone like Hoffman in a different category to Spacey. The former evolved, the latter just got worse.

  29. Eveil says:

    Agree with the majority of you Ladies. I believe the victim. I wish George would have just apologized and made reparations instead of doubling down on his innocence and using the same terminology as those other accusers.