Star Trek actor denies knowing man who accuses him of assault in 1981, as actor Richard Dreyfuss denies claim he exposed himself to a writer
The Star Trek actor and gay rights activist George Takei responded on Saturday to an accusation that he sexually assaulted a young actor nearly 40 years ago. The alleged event simply did not occur, Takei said.
On Friday, Scott R Brunton told the Hollywood Reporter that in 1981, when he was 23, he was invited into Takeis condo in Los Angeles. Brunton implied his drink may have been spiked, saying he passed out and awoke to find Takei trying to strip him and groping his genitals.
This happened a long time ago but I have never forgotten it, he said. The Reporter said four longtime friends of Brunton had said he confided to them about the alleged incident years ago.
The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, Takei wrote, and I do not know why he has claimed them now. I have wracked [sic] my brain to ask if I remember Mr Brunton, and I cannot say I do.
Also on Saturday, a recording of a recent Howard Stern radio show emerged in which Stern asked Takei if he had ever grabbed a mans genitals against his will.
Takei paused, said uh oh and laughed. Stern repeated the question and Takei said: Some people are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and youre trying to persuade.
Sterns co-host, Robin Quivers, asked if Takei did this grabbing at work. Takei said: Oh no no no, it wasnt at work. It was either in my home. They came to my home it didnt involve power over the other.
Bruntons claim followed an avalanche of sexual assault and harassment allegations against prominent men in entertainment, politics, media and sports. In just the previous three days, most prominently, the Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore denied allegations that he sexually molested a 14-year-old and made advances on other teenage girls when he was in his thirties, and the comedian Louis CK admitted to sexual misconduct, including masturbating in front of two women without their consent.
A number of men have said they were assaulted by Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, who apologized in one case but angered the gay community by coming out as gay in the same statement.
After the actor and writer Harry Dreyfuss alleged to BuzzFeed that Spacey groped him when he was 18, his father, the film star Richard Dreyfuss, tweeted in support of his son. On Friday, an LA writer who worked with the older Dreyfuss for years accused him of exposing himself and aggressively and repeatedly propositioning her.
Richard Dreyfuss responded to the report, by New York magazines Vulture blog. He denied exposing himself but admitted making inappropriate advances to the writer, Jessica Teich, and many other women in the 1970s and 80s.
Female politicians have also said they were routinely harassed by male members of Congress and several top figures at Fox News have lost their jobs. Most such revelations have followed reports that the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein serially harassed and coerced women into sexual contact for years, and hired teams of professionals to silence or denigrate victims.
Weinstein has unequivocally denied allegations of nonconsensual sex but the accusations against him have prompted police investigations. The claims also spurred a #metoo hashtag campaign on social media for those speaking out against similar experiences, particularly in the workplace.
Takeis accuser said the actor befriended him when he was working as a waiter and beginning a career as an actor and model. Following his break-up from a boyfriend, Brunton said, Takei invited him home.
After he passed out on a beanbag chair, he claimed, he woke up to find Takei molesting him. Brunton said he told Takei I dont want to do this. After Takei failed to persuade him to accept the attention, Brunton said, he left the condo and drove home.
In his tweets on Saturday, Takei said: I do take these claims very seriously, and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment. 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, 80, was an original Star Trek cast member, playing Lt Hikaru Sulu on television and in a series of films. In 2005 he came out publicly and revealed he had been in a relationship for 18 years. A campaigner for LGBTQ rights for years, he stepped up his activism after coming out, campaigning stridently for the right to same-sex marriage. He is a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign and has become a leading gay celebrity, taking part in pride parades across the US.
The last of his five tweets on Saturday morning referred to his partner, Brad Altman. It read: Brad, who is 100% 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.