The man who accused George Takei of drugging and groping him in 1981 has now admitted he can’t recall key elements of the story.
Last November, Takei denied former model Scott Brunton’s allegations that the Star Trek actor had drugged him, removed his pants, and touched his genitals.
He also added that he couldn’t remember a coffee meeting he originally claimed he had with Takei years later, and the article consults with toxicologists who said if Brunton were drugged he would not have been able to immediately get up and leave Takei’s apartment.
“I rarely thought of it. Just occasionally, if his name popped up,” Brunton said.
If someone mentioned Star Trek, he would say, “‘Oh, well, I’ve got a story for you!’ They go, ‘Really? What?’ I’d tell people, and they’d go, ‘Ew!'”
Users on social media have also accused Brunton of having a racial motivation due to how he described his relationship to the actor.
“He was 20 years older than me and short. And I wasn’t attracted to Asian men,” he said.
“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.”
The racism inherent in the #MeToo takedown of George Takei was hugely problematic and unjust. False accusations happen too and without due process we end up dishing out mob justice on social media. That’s a true injustice to the true victims and a heinous attack on the innocent.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) May 25, 2018
the man who accused george takei of sexual assault walks back the story: “it was a great party story.” also, i think there’s a racial component that we literally have no idea how to talk about: https://t.co/SMldbaGKyf pic.twitter.com/ZhzxnjsF6F
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) May 25, 2018
While these latest comments have been described as a “retraction”, the situation has only become murkier.
Brunton said he was “disappointed” by what happened, and that he “felt so privileged to know him [because] he was so nice, and a celebrity. I thought, ‘Well, he could be friends with lots of people, but he chose to be my friend’.”
“Do you see what I’m saying?” he said.
The #MeToo movement’s onus on challenging famous people’s exploitation of their power here chafes at the question of whether the movement itself affected Brunton’s telling of the story now that he describes it as “an unwanted situation”.
The swiftness with which Takei has been absolved in some quarters also raises the question of whether his progressive politics and activism make his actions, for some, easier to excuse.
Meanwhile, Takei tweeted out a forgiving message to Brunton following the publishing of the Observer piece.
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.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 25, 2018
“I don’t want to sound like I’m so vengeful, but, I mean, you do want to get back at someone like that that has done something like that,” Brunton said. “If it just tarnishes their reputation a little bit, well, that’s what you get for doing what you did.”
“I just want him to apologise for taking advantage of our friendship,” he said.