George Takei Denies Sexually Assaulting Model in 1981

CNN/ Newswire | 11/13/2017, 7:15 a.m.
"Star Trek" star and LBGT icon George Takei is denying allegations that he groped a former male model who says ...
George Takei November 30, 2016 California Museum in Sacramento

By Ray Sanchez and Tony Marco, CNN

(CNN) -- "Star Trek" star and LBGT icon George Takei is denying allegations that he groped a former male model who says he passed out while drinking at the actor's Los Angeles condo nearly 40 years ago.

Takei, 80, became the latest celebrity to be accused of sexual assault, after a former actor and model named Scott R. Brunton alleged in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that Takei groped him and tried to remove his underwear one night in 1981.

Takei's agent told CNN on Saturday that the actor was traveling and unable to respond.

But the man best known for his role as Mr. Sulu, the helmsman of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek, said in a series of tweets that he is "shocked and bewildered" by the allegations and that the "events (Brunton) describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur."

"But I do take these claims very seriously," wrote Takei, who said he does not remember Brunton.

"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."

Brunton, now 60, told CNN on Saturday that the alleged assault occurred when he was 23 and Takei was in his 40s. Brunton said he was with his boyfriend at a Los Angeles gay bar when he first met the actor.

"I heard this voice and I don't know if you've ever heard George Takei speak, but he has a booming voice and his laugh was familiar," he recalled. "I looked through the crowd and told my boyfriend, 'Look that's Sulu.'"

The trio exchanged numbers and occasionally hung out, Brunton said.

After breaking up with his boyfriend, Brunton said he went to dinner and a theater with Takei.

"It was totally platonic," he said of that night. "I thought it was cool that he thought enough of me to give me a sympathetic ear. I had no interest in him and he knew that, or he should have. He was so not my type. He was 20 years older than me."

The night ended at Takei's condo, Brunton said. He remembered thinking it was corny that the actor served him a drink in a Star Trek glass.

"I had a second drink and then I started to feel terrible, and I stood up and said, 'Oh my God, I'm going to pass out,''' he recalled.

Brunton said the actor guided him over to a yellow bean bag chair.

"The next thing I remember is waking up," the former model said.

"He is on top of me and has my pants pulled down around my ankles and his hands are trying to get my underwear off. I said, 'What are you doing? I don't want this.' He says, 'You need to relax. I'm just trying to make you comfortable ... And I said, 'No, I don't want this.' I pushed him off and said I was going."