George Takei’s accuser admits he wasn’t sexual assaulted after all

George Takei

George Takei AP

Last year, George Takei was accused of sexually assaulting a man in 1981.

Now the accuser is saying that what happened wasn’t quite sexual assault, and experts doubt key parts of his story.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in November, former model Scott Brunton said that after he met Takei at a gay bar in LA, he went back to the actor’s apartment in LA, to talk as friends.

Brunton said Takei served him two drinks, and that he felt dizzy after drinking them. He passed out, and later woke up to Takei taking off his pants and groping his crotch.

“No. I don’t want to do this,” Brunton said. He then drove home despite Takei protesting that he was too drunk to drive.

While he didn’t explicitly say that he was drugged in the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Brunton told The Oregonian several days later that he was.

“I know unequivocally he spiked my drink,” he said. “It takes a lot more than two drinks to put me out.”

Takei denied even knowing Brunton.

Shane Snow at The Observer interviewed Brunton extensively, talked to Brunton’s acquaintances, and got answers from experts as part of a months-long investigation.

First, he talked to two toxicologists about the drugging. Both of them ruled out a spiked drink.

“The most likely cause [of Brunton’s dizziness] is not drug-related,” said Lewis Nelson, the director of medical toxicology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “It sounds like postural hypotension [the dizzy feeling from standing up too quickly], exacerbated by alcohol.”

Both doctors said that there weren’t drugs at the time that would temporarily render someone dizzy and then able to drive home minutes later. The known date rape drugs – like Rohypnol, Quaaludes, and GHB – incapacitate someone for much longer.

Brunton himself said that he didn’t think that he was drugged for decades, not until he heard about Bill Cosby using Quaaludes to rape women.

“I thought it was just I was drunk. I didn’t even start thinking that until years later when they started talking about date rape drugs. And, then Cosby and all.”

Then Snow looked into Brunton’s accusation that he was groped without his consent. Brunton was interviewed several times in November and told different stories to different media outlets – in some he was groped, in others he wasn’t.

It turns out that Brunton himself says he doesn’t remember being groped.

I asked him to clarify the issue. “Did he touch your genitals?”

“You know…probably…” Brunton replied after some hesitation. “He was clearly on his way to…to…to going somewhere.”

We shared a pause.

“So… you don’t remember him touching your genitals?”

Brunton confessed that he did not remember any touching.

What he does remember is Takei taking off his pants while he was drunk.

Snow talked with gay historian Edward Garren who said that this was actually fairly common in the LA gay scene in the early 80’s. Takei could have taken Brunton’s presence in his apartment as a sign that he wanted sex, especially in an era when gay men avoided talking about their sexuality in public or even in private.

“‘Courtship rituals’ usually involved brief introductions, followed by going to one person’s residence with the ‘guest’ leaving after sex,” said Garren.

“There’s nothing to prosecute here,” former Senior Deputy District Attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez told Snow. He said that taking off someone’s pants is “making a move,” and making a move isn’t a crime if the instigator backs off when told “no.”

“People get drunk on dates and take off each other’s pants all the time,” Rodriguez said. “Making a move itself is not a crime.”

But just because what happened wasn’t legally actionable rape doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an aggression, or just creepy.

Brunton said that he shared the story with several people immediately after it happened. Snow tracked a few of them down and found that he did not actually talk about sexual assault with these people.

“I know that he had met George Takei, but that’s about all,” said one of the friends Brunton said he confided in.

Brunton’s fiancé at the time also said that she remembered hearing about Takei but didn’t hear anything about an assault.

In the interview with Snow, Brunton said that the incident was “not painful” and wasn’t an attack. “Just an unwanted situation. It’s just a very odd event.”

He felt “betrayed” because he thought Takei wanted to be his friend, and then Takei hit on him.

“He was 20 years older than me and short,” he told Snow. “And I wasn’t attracted to Asian men.”

If anything, he sounds more offended that Takei thought he had a chance with him.

“I was a hot, surfer, California boy type, that he probably could have only gotten had he bought, paid for or found someone just willing to ride on his coattails of fame.”

Brunton says that he still wants an apology from Takei.

“I just want him to apologize for taking advantage of our friendship,” he said.

Takei did not take part in Snow’s investigation. The Star Trek actor was made fun of on Saturday Night Live and by Donald Trump on Twitter, but he has not faced professional repercussions.

“This has been the worst thing to happen to George since the internment camps,” a personal friend of Takei said.

No one else has come forward with accusations about him.

Brunton said that he has also received negative comments on Facebook since coming forward.

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