Ryan Parker reports for The Hollywood Reporter, Nov. 10, 2017, that Scott R. Brunton, a former model and actor, is accusing Star Trek actor George “Sulu” Takei, 80, of sexual assault in 1981 at a time when Brunton was feeling “very vulnerable,” having just broken up with his live-in boyfriend.
At the time of the assault, Takei was 44 and Brunton was 23 years old.
Brunton tells The Hollywood Reporter (THR) in an interview: “This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it. 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 Takei one evening at Greg’s Blue Dot bar. The men exchanged phone numbers and would call one another from time to time as well as run into each other at clubs. 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 . . . George called me.”
Takei invited Brunton to dinner and the theater. Brunton recounts: “He was very good at consoling me and understanding that I was upset and still in love with my boyfriend. He was a great ear. He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve.”
The two men went back to Takei’s condo for a drink the same night. Brunton recalls:
“We have the drink and he asks if I would like another. 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. 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 said he met up with Takei years after the incident in Portland, Brunton’s current home, while the actor was there on a book tour. Brunton says: “I wanted to see him. 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.” But his reasoning changed after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and especially when Takei spoke out regarding sexual assault allegations leveled against Kevin Spacey by a number of men, including actor Anthony Rapp. Takei sanctimoniously said in a statement to THR on Oct. 30:
“When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong. For Anthony Rapp, he has had to live with the memory of this experience of decades ago. For Kevin Spacey, who claims not to remember the incident, he was the older, dominant one who had his way. Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection. They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.”
Brunton says he found Takei’s response infuriating: “I don’t want anything from him but an apology. I am sure he’ll disown all this, I don’t know, maybe not.”
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, tells THR, “George is traveling in Japan and Australia and not reachable for comment.”
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