- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 12, 2017

“Star Trek” icon and progressive activist George Takei has denied allegations that he groped another man at his Los Angeles condominium, saying he was “shocked and bewildered at these claims.”

“The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now,” Mr. Takei said Saturday on Twitter.

Scott R. Brunton told the Hollywood Reporter he was 23 years old and pursuing a career as a model and actor in 1981 when Mr. Takei, who would have been 43 or 44, invited him to his condo for drinks.

After the second drink, Mr. Brunton said he felt “disoriented and dizzy” and sat down in a yellow beanbag chair. He passed out, then woke up to find his pants pulled down.

Mr. Takei “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,” said Mr. Brunton. “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.’”

Mr. Brunton refused. “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.”

Mr. Brunton said he pulled up his pants and left, even though Mr. Takei argued that he was in no condition to drive.

“This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it,” Mr. Brunton said. “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.”

Four longtime friends of Mr. Brunton’s confirmed to THR that they had heard the story years ago, but Mr. Takei said he doesn’t remember Mr. Brunton.

“I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do,” Mr. Takei said. “But I do take these claims very seriously and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment.”

Mr. Takei, 80, said “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.”

The allegations come with Hollywood mired in a sexual-misconduct scandal that started last month with producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and even rape.

Mr. Takei, who is openly gay, married longtime partner Brad Altman in 2008 in Los Angeles.

The “Star Trek” actor’s denial wasn’t helped by a recent interview with radio host Howard Stern, in which Mr. Takei joked about “trying to persuade” men who may have been “skittish” or “afraid” of a sexual encounter.

Mr. Takei said he never held a job over anyone’s head or tried anything at work, but asked by Mr. Stern if he gave someone a “gentle squeeze on the balls or something,” Mr. Takei replied, “More than a gentle — but it didn’t involve power over the other.”

After Kevin Spacey came out as gay last month following a claim that he tried to sexually assault a 14-year-old actor, Mr. Takei told THR in a statement: “When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is wrong.”

“Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection,” he said. “They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.”

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