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.
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.
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.
Photos courtesy of WENN.