George Takei, the former "Star Trek" actor accused of making an unwanted advance on a former model decades ago, issued a denial on Saturday in which he claimed to be "shocked and bewildered" by the news.
Late Friday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Scott R. Brunton claimed Takei groped him without consent in an incident at the actor's home in 1981. Brunton, who was 23 at the time, told the publication he passed out and allegedly awoke to find Takei attempting to remove his underwear.
The openly gay actor was sharply criticized as the Hollywood Report story went viral on social media. Yet Takei strongly denied the accusation in a Facebook post, saying the incident "simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now."
The claim against Takei comes as Hollywood is reeling from a litany of accusations of sexual impropriety leveled against high-profile figures in the industry. Recently, Takei himself strongly denounced actor Kevin Spacey, who publicly revealed he was gay as he came under withering pressure for allegedly sexually assaulting 15 young men.
"I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do," Takei wrote on his Facebook page. "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. 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," Takei wrote.