Scott Brunton, the man who accused George Takei of sexually assaulting him last year, has backtracked on his story — he now says that the drugging and subsequent sexual assault may not have actually happened the way he originally claimed.
Brunton, a former model, first told his story to The Hollywood Reporter in November and alleged that Takei groped him during a visit to the actor’s Los Angeles condo in 1981. Brunton was 23 at the time, while Takei was in in early 40’s, and Brunton said the two maintained a casual friendship after meeting at a bar.
During an evening of drinks, Brunton recalled feeling “very disoriented and dizzy” and then passing out. He claimed that when he came to, he found himself partially dressed and being inappropriately touched by Takei. Brunton said that he rejected Takei’s advances and left the home.
Takei denied Brunton’s claims last year, tweeting that he was “shocked and bewildered” by the news. Takei protested the idea that he would assault anyone: “...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.”
Now a new report from the Observer published on May 24 suggests that Brunton may have misremembered the incident.
Brunton told THR that he woke up to Takei “groping” his crotch. But in his recently published interview with the Observer, when asked directly if Takei had touched his genitals, Brunton replied, “You know…probably…”
Brunton admitted he did not explicitly remember being touched by Takei: “He was clearly on his way to…to…to going somewhere.”
Toxicologists poked yet another hole in Brunton’s story, saying that drugs that would have still allowed the victim to drive themselves home later, as Brunton claimed to have done, were not available in the 1980s. Postural hypotension — or a sudden, severe drop in blood pressure — was a likely cause of Brunton’s condition that night, toxicologists theorized, as going from sitting or lying down to standing up too quickly could lead to fainting and could have been exacerbated by alcohol.
Memory experts suggested that the conflicting accounts present in Brunton’s claims — he says he told his then-partner, but his partner has no recall of the incident — might be a fault of long-term memory. “Long-term memory should not be used as an accurate record of past events,” said an expert to the Observer.
Takei's attractiveness to Brunton seems to have figured in his account of the night.
Brunton talked about why he wouldn’t have been interested in Takei: “He was 20 years older than me and short. And I wasn’t attracted to Asian men.”
Why? “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 told the Observer that he didn’t view Takei as an abuser, and that this situation was “just unwanted” — but not an attack.
“I just want him to apologize for taking advantage of our friendship,” Brunton said.
Takei, now 81, responded to Brunton’s revision with a message of forgiveness.
“As I stated before, I do not remember Mr. Brunton or any of the events he described from forty years ago, but I do understand that this was part of a very important national conversation that we as a society must have, painful as it might be,” he wrote in a series of tweets.
“It is in that spirit that I want folks to know, despite what he has put us through, I do not bear Mr. Brunton any ill will, and I wish him peace.”
[Photo: George Takei speaks onstage during a panel discussion at the PBS portion of the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association tour at Langham Hotel on January 21, 2014 in Pasadena, California. By Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]