Saturday, November 11, 2017

Star Trek Actor George Takei Accused of Sexual Assault

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The 'Star Trek' icon denies a claim by Scott R. Brunton, who says he was groped at the actor's Los Angeles condo.

The Hollywood Reporter reports:

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."

THR spoke to four longtime friends of Brunton — Norah Roadman, Rob Donovan, Stephen Blackshear and Jan Steward — who said that he had confided in them about the Takei encounter years ago.

Takei's rep, Julia Buchwald, told THR, "George is traveling in Japan and Australia and not reachable for comment." Takei, now 80, rose to fame playing Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek television series. He is also an author and activist and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.

In a series of tweets and in a Facebook post Saturday morning, Takei denied the allegations.

"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," he said. "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."

Read the full story here.


Raybeard said...

Not saying it didn't happen - and how could anyone apart from these two know? - but (and that 'but' always seems an attempt to excuse conduct that would now be at least frowned upon or even condemned outright) the 'victim' was 23, for Christ's sake! Okay, he was in a 'vulnerable' state, something surely nearly all of us have been in at some time or other. When I was Brunton's then age similar or yet more invasive things happened to me - and I dare say that when I'd had a few drinks I also went further than I ought (never with minors, I hasten to add!), my befuddled state disabling me from reading the 'signs' of the other rejecting my advances. But as for the times when I was on the receiving end of being paid unwanted 'attention' I didn't take it any further later, although if I'd been bloody-minded I suppose I could have done. It never occurred to me. If one of those men had become famous afterwards, what would be my motivation for broadcasting it all these years later? The only things I can think of are revenge (in my cases it's long since over anyway) or........MONEY! Just saying.

MJJM said...

All I can say is that the alleged victim had been talking about this for years (according to his friends) and that he claimed that hearing Takei criticizing Kevin Spacey for putting his hands on young guys made him decide to "out" Takei because he knows Takei to be guilty of the same. Also, a number of people are annoyed with Takei because he always espoused that we must believe any claim by any alleged victim, but suddenly he's changing his tune when he's the accused himself.