A former male model has accused actor George Takei of sexually assaulting him in 1981, adding to the growing list of Hollywood personalities caught up by the growing wave of scandal.
On Friday, the Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Scott R. Brunton, who says he was groped by the former “Star Trek” actor when Brunton was 23 and Takei was in his 40s. According to the article, Takei tried to remove Brunton’s underwear after Brunton passed out from drinking at Takei’s condo. In a Facebook post, Takei denied the charge.
Actor Richard Dreyfuss, 70, was also accused of inappropriate sexual conduct on Friday. According to Vulture, the former “Jaws” star harassed writer Jessica Teich over two to three years, while she was working on a show he was producing, and once exposed himself to her.
Other claims of impropriety have come to light in the past 24 hours: Former “ER” actor Anthony Edwards wrote a post on Medium claiming that he had been molested by producer Gary Goddard, who acted as a mentor and personal manager to Edwards during the actor’s early career. Goddard’s spokesman has denied the charge. Also on Friday, actress Ellen Page wrote on Facebook that director Brett Ratner outed her as gay on the set of “X-Men: The Last Stand.” The actress, who was 18 at that time, wrote that “I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened.”
Brunton and Teich both said they were inspired to come forward after reading statements of support made by Takei and Dreyfuss in the wake of sexual-assault claims by others. Dreyfuss’s son, actor Harry Dreyfuss, said Kevin Spacey groped him when he was 18, prompting his father to post on Twitter that he was “so incredibly proud” of his son.
“When I read about his support for his son, which I would never question, I remember thinking, ‘But wait a minute, this guy harassed me for months,” Teich told Vulture. “He was in a position of so much power over me, and I didn’t feel I could tell anyone about it. It just seemed so hypocritical.”
Takei, now 80, is an LGBTQ icon who has been outspoken in his condemnation of sexual assault. After actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of assault — prompting Spacey to come out as gay — Takei told the Hollywood Reporter that “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 was vulnerable after a romantic breakup, and that Takei comforted him one night over the course of dinner, theater and drinks at Takei’s home. After Brunton passed out, he says, he came to, only to find “my pants down around my ankles and [that Takei] was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off.” Brunton says he told Takei “No, I don’t want to do this,” and pushed him off, to which Takei responded, “Okay, fine.” Brunton says he’s seeking an apology from Takei.
Takei’s Facebook statement denying the accusation said, “The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now. I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do. But 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,” Takei wrote. “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.”
According to Teich’s account, she was was in her mid-20s, working as a junior writer on a project that Dreyfuss was producing called “Funny, You Don’t Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville” when the harassment started. At one point, Teich says she was summoned to the Oscar-winner’s trailer on a set in 1987 and found him with his penis exposed. “I can’t remember how my face got close to his penis, but I do remember that the idea was that I was going to give him a blow job. I didn’t, and I left.”
“I trusted him. That’s what’s always so weird,” Teich told Vulture. “I liked him. That’s part of why it’s so painful, because of the level of innocence one brings to these things.”
Dreyfuss has not yet reacted to the accusation and his spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In Edwards’s post, the actor recalls that he was 12 when he met Goddard and says that the film, television and theater producer quickly became a mentor. Edwards says Goddard preyed upon him because he was vulnerable, and that he molested him for years and raped his best friend.
“One of the most tragic effects of sexual abuse in children is that the victims often feel deeply responsible — as if it is somehow their fault,” Edwards wrote. “With their sick form of control, abusers exploit a child’s natural desire to bond.”
Edwards also wrote that he once confronted Goddard years later in an airport and that Goddard “swore to his remorse.”
Goddard’s publicist, Sam Singer, said in a statement that Goddard “is saddened by the false accusations.”