George Takei, who famously played Hikaru Sulu on the Star Trek television series, is the latest actor to be accused of sexual misconduct.
A former model and actor named Scott Brunton told The Hollywood Reporter that Takei made unwanted sexual advances after the two men had dinner together in 1981. Brunton was 23 years old at the time, Takei was 43 or 44. As Brunton tells it, he befriended Takei after meeting him at a bar and exchanging numbers. Upon breaking up with his boyfriend, Brunton said he reached out to Takei as a confidant. “He was very good at consoling me and understanding that I was upset and still in love with my boyfriend,” Brunton explained. “He was a great ear. He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve.”
One night the two men went out to dinner together and then went back to Takei’s apartment for drinks, according to Brunton. “We have the drink and he asks if I would like another,” Brunton recounted. “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 claimed. “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.”
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to four longtime friends of Brunton who said he had told them of the incident years ago.
For his part, Takei denies the allegations and says he cannot recall ever meeting Brunton. In a series of tweets, he wrote:
“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.”
Takei, who as a child spent time in a Japanese internment camp during World War 2, is best known for playing Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in six Star Trek feature films. Today he serves as the announcer of the Howard Stern Show. He is also a vocal advocate of LGBT rights.