George Takei accused of groping struggling model in 1980s

FILE: In this March 15, 2016 file photo, actor George Takei attends the premiere of “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures” in Los Angeles, Calif. “Star Trek” actor Takei has denied he groped a struggling model in 1981. Takei said Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in a series of tweets that events described in an interview with Scott R. Brunton “simply did not occur.” He says he didn’t know “why he has claimed them now.” (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The “Star Trek” icon George Takei took to Twitter on Saturday to deny he ever knew a struggling actor and model who has accused him of sexual assault in 1981.

“The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now,” the 80-year-old Takei said in a series of tweets.

Scott R. Brunton told The Hollywood Reporter he was 23 at the time, living in Hollywood and working as a waiter when he met Takei at a bar. They exchanged numbers, he said, speaking by telephone from time to time, when Takei invited Brunton to dinner, the theater and back to his condo for drinks soon after Brunton had broken up with a boyfriend.

He said he grew dizzy and “must have passed out,” awaking to his pants around his ankles and Takei groping him. He said he extricated himself and left.

The Hollywood Reporter said Friday it spoke to four longtime friends of Brunton who said he had confided in them about Takei years ago.

Takei said on Twitter that right now, it’s a “he said/he said situation” and that those who know him “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.”

Also Saturday, a clip of audio surfaced from Takei’s appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show last month. The interview was recorded less than two weeks after sexual assault accusations against fallen film mogul Harvey Weinstein were made public. Stern and Takei were discussing the “irony” of the Weinstein case and the audiotape of President Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women’s genitals years ago, when Stern asked Takei whether he had ever grabbed a man’s genitals against their will.

Takei, a staunch Trump opponent, initially was silent, then said “uh oh” and laughed. Stern asks again and Takei said “Some people are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and you’re trying to persuade.”

Stern and his co-host, Robin Quivers, persisted, asking Takei whether he ever held a job over somebody for sex and he said no.

Quivers asked if he did “this grabbing at work.” Takei said “It was either in my home. They came to my home.”

In another development in the barrage of sexual assault, harassment and rape allegations to rock the entertainment and other industries, Massachusetts prosecutors will meet with the son of a former Boston TV news anchor who said Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted the teenage boy at a Nantucket restaurant.