George Takei Accused of Sexual Assault

For the past few weeks now, more and more people have been coming forward with horror stories about sexual assault and/or sexual harassment committed by various Hollywood figures.

Needless to say, it’s been an overwhelmingly depressing time.

Harvey Weinstein’s accusers opened the floodgates — so, so many women have shared their horror stories about him, and a few of the stories have been about rape.

From there, everything just kind of fell apart.

Several men claimed that Kevin Spacey assaulted them, including actor Anthony Rapp, who was only 14 at the time of the alleged incident.

Writer/director James Toback has been accused of assault by literally hundreds of women, and Louis C.K. was accused of (and admitted to) abusing his position of power in the comedy world to masturbate in front of female comedians and coworkers.

Two women have accused Ed Westwick of rape, and Ben Affleck is facing a sex scandal of his own.

And now we have one more name to add to the list of the accused: George Takei.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, a former actor and model named Scott R. Brunton recounts a tale that took place in 1981, when he was living in L.A. and trying to get his career going.

He says that he met George at a bar, and that they exchanged phone numbers and struck up a friendship.

When Scott went through a bad breakup, he says George reached out to him and offered to take him out to dinner and a show.

“He was very good at consoling me and understanding that I was upset and still in love with my boyfriend,” he recalls. “He was a great ear. He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve.”

When the evening was over, the two went back to George’s home for a drink, but Scott claims that when he had had his second drink, “I begin feeling very disoriented and dizzy, and I thought I was going to pass out.”

He says that he did end up passing out, and “The next thing I remember I was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and he was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off and feeling me up at the same time, trying to get his hands down my underwear.”

“I came to and said, ‘What are you doing?!’ I said ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He goes ‘You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable.'”

Scott claims that he told him “I don’t want to do this,” and then he left.

It’s a horrible story — all of them are.

But for what it’s worth, George has already strongly denied the story.

“Friends,” he began a series of tweets, “I’m writing to respond to the accusations made by Scott R. Brunton. I want to assure you all that I am as shocked and bewildered at this claims as you must feel reading them.”

It’s true — people are especially shocked at these claims, because unlike Weinstein and Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., there have never been any rumors about anything like this.

George continued with “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,” he added, “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.”

He wrote that his husband is “100 percent beside me on this” and that he “stands fully by my side. I cannot tell you how vital it has been to have his unwavering support and love in these difficult times.”

“Thanks to many of you for all the kind words and trust,” he finished. “It means so much to us. Yours in gratitude, George.”

Do you believe him?


Jeremy Piven Offers to Take a Polygraph to Disprove Sexual Assault

At the end of October, Ariane Bellamar publicly accused Jeremy Piven of sexual assault in her #MeToo story. And that wasn’t the end.

Since then, two more women have come forward and named the former Entourage star, accusing him of sexual misconduct. Video resurfaced of a fourth woman with her own horror story to tell about Piven.

A lot of the men accused are apologizing or claiming to be “seeking help.” Jeremy Piven is denying it — and offering to take a lie-detector test.

Actress Ariane Bellamar shared her accusations, that Piven had forcibly groped her on the set of Entourage and at the Playboy Mansion, in a series of tweets.

“Jeremy Piven, on two occasions, cornered me & forcefully fondled my breasts & bum.”

She was very direct about it.

“Hey @jeremypiven! ‘Member when you cornered me in your trailer on the #Entourage set? ‘Member grabbing my boobies on [the couch] without asking??”

Since then, as we said, two more women came forward.

One of these women told People that Piven had charmed her when they first met, but that when she’d come by to pick him up for another outing, he had allegedly pinned her down and rubbed his bare genitals on her clothed body until he ejaculated on her white turtleneck.

She says that she fled when he let her up, and that she cried in the car.

People was able to corroborate part of her story with someone who saw her just afterwards.

Well, Jeremy Piven is denying everything in a statement on Twitter.

“Let me begin by saying that the accusations against me are absolutely false and completely fabricated. I would never force myself on a woman. Period.”

It is his word against that of three women — so far, each of whom have nothing to gain by making these accusations.

“I have offered to take a polygraph to support my innocence.”

Polygraphs are not reliable sources of anything.

For one thing, sometimes people genuinely believe things about their personal histories that are untrue. They rewrite their own lives.

For another, polygraphs aren’t allowed in courtrooms as evidence because they’re not reliable. An anxious person might fail one when telling the truth. A calm person might pass when lying.

You might as well use a ouija board.

Jeremy’s denial continues:

“I keep asking myself, ‘How does one prove something didn’t happen?'”

“What I am not able to do is speculate as to the motivations of these women.”

Again, speaking up invites criticisms and the potential for lawsuits. There are no benefits to sharing your #MeToo story, except for the hope of justice.

It’s conceivable that someone could lie (false accusations of rape are very rare, but they do happen), maybe seeking fame or something. But the odds of at least three women all deciding to fabricate stories against the same man?

That’s hard to swallow.

“As a human being I feel compassion for the victims of such acts, but I am perplexed as to the misdirection of anger with false accusations against me and do not detract from the stories that should be heard.”

Honestly, that’s exactly what a man who’s been falsely accused might say. It’s also literally exactly what a justly accused man might say to look innocent.

“We seem to be entering dark times — allegations are being printed as fact and lives are being put in jeopardy without a hearing, due process, or evidence.”

Guys, “innocent until proven guilty” is a tenet of our legal system to avoid imprisoning people. It’s not a rule for the “court” of public opinion.

“I hope we can give people the benefit of the doubt before we rush to judgment.”

“Continuing to tear each other down and destroy careers based on mere allegations is not productive on any level.”

Odd that he says “mere allegations.” Does he expect women to literally always wear a mic or hidden cameras in the hopes of capturing evidence in case they’re sexually assaulted?

One woman — or three — giving testimony is evidence. There’s nothing “mere” or insignificant about that.

“I hope we can use this moment to begin a constructive dialogue on these issues, which are real and need to be addressed.”

There are circumstances in which sexual misconduct could be chalked up to misreading a situation — leaning in for a kiss at the wrong time, or a case of mistaken identity.

Cornering women to grope them, or dry-humping a woman while pinning her down, don’t sound like plausible cases of miscommunication. They sound like sexual assaults.

We’d admit to being sort of interested in the results that Piven might get from his proposed polygraph, but … let’s not open that can of worms and junk science.


Terry Crews Reported His Sexual Assault to the LAPD

As more and more everyday folks and celebrities alike share their #MeToo stories, one of the most powerful revelations came from an unexpected source: Terry Crews.

Terry Crews’ story of sexual assault was eye-opening to many. If a tall, muscular, male celebrity and athlete could be groped and still fear to fight back or speak out, how do people imagine that women feel in that situation?

Well there’s good news when it comes to Terry Crews — the police are investigating.

Do you guys watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine?

Terry Crews has been in other things, from Old Spice ads to playing the pro wrestler in Idiocracy, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the best comedies on television.

On it, Terry plays a character who, despite his size and strength, is a nurturing family man with a strong sensitive side and who is wholly unafraid to stray from hypermasculine gender norms.

In other words, Terry Crews plays a character very similar to himself.

Terry Crews was a football player, but before that, he was an art student and is a genuinely good artist. He’s also been quick to eschew toxic masculinity and to support women.

We mention this because Terry Crews is a genuinely good person, and it’s important to know that — even though no one, even bad people, deserve to be sexually assaulted.

After the Harvey Weinstein rape accusations came to light and countless women began sharing their #MeToo stories, Terry Crews tweeted and shared his own story of being groped by a man in the entertainment industry at a party.

This happened in public (it was at a party) and in front of his wife.

As a general rule, you want to be really sure that you have permission before you touch someone else’s genitals.

You might be thinking “oh, it’s a nice surprise,” but you’re basically gambling on the hope that they’ll be pleased.

Just because a lot of folks like having their junk touched doesn’t mean that it’s welcome as a surprise or that you, specifically, have permission to do it.

And that goes for butts and boobs and really any part of their bodies.

The man whom Terry Crews accuses of groping him is Adam Venit, an agent for William Morris Endeavor, who headed the talent agency’s motion picture department.

We say that he headed that department, past tense, because Venit has been placed on leave.

Well, there’s good news, folks.

Terry Crews has filed an official report with the LAPD about his sexual assault.

Describing it all to police can be more difficult, in some ways, than sharing your story with the world.

But it’s an important step.

As satisfying as it might be to see, say, Kevin Spacey scrubbed from a film or to see various famous dirtbags lose their jobs — Harvey Weinstein’s wife left him — only by going to the police can we hope to send these alleged rapists to prison.

Terry Crews isn’t the only one whose brave accusation could lead to real, legal consequences for the accused.

The LAPD is investigating Harvey Weinstein for rape, which could lead to something a lot realer than a stint in rehab, which essentially amounts to a one-week vacation with some therapy.

Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick is under investigation for rape after an actress came forward, and now another actress is sharing a chillingly similar accusation about him.

Fear of consequences — of being victim-blamed, of being ridiculed, of not being believed, and of being deliberately blacklisted by powerful predators — has maintained a culture of silence around Hollywood and elsewhere for far too long.

The more that brave people share their #MeToo stories, the sooner that we can shine a light upon the evil in our midst. The sooner that we can make ourselves better as a society and as a cutlure.


Ed Westwick: Another Actress Accuses Him of Sexual Assault

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein rape accusations that have come to light, more and more people are coming together to share their #MeToo stories … and to name names and try to break the culture of silence that allows sexual predators to operate.

Earlier this week, Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick was accused of rape by an actress.

Actress Kristina Cohen came forward and named Ed Westwick, accusing him of having raped her in 2014.

At the time, Kristina was dating a producer who was friends with Ed Westwick.

When they joined him for dinner, she felt uncomfortable when Westwick allegedly suggested that they all have sex.

(It’s unclear if he was joking at that time, though sexual predators have been known to use “humor” to get a feel for someone, always with the plausible deniability of “hey, just kidding!” if they get called out on it)

Kristina Cohen then describes how she said that she was tired and wanted to leave, but her producer friend wanted to stay for another 20 minutes to be polite, so Ed Westwick suggested that she take a nap in the guest room.

Kristina recounts how she woke up with Westwick’s fingers inside of her.

She accuses Westwick of holding her down with his weight, grabbing her face and shaking her head, and raping her.

She says that the producer whom she was dating blamed her and also warned her against speaking out, both shaming and silencing her.

If you find that story as disturbing as we do, you should be happy to know that police are investigating Ed Westwick for rape.

Aurelie Wynn has found the courage to share her #MeToo story … and you’ll find her story familiar and disturbing.

“In July 2014, I went through a very similar ordeal with Ed Westwick, I was ubered by Ed to the Glendower Estates where he was renting following an invite from a girl friend of mine who was dating his roommate a cast member on Glee.”

The Glee actor involvement? That’s important. We’ll get to that.

“We all hung out until 5am, sun was starting to rise since it was summer so we all decided to get a few hours of shut eye since we all had events and things to do the next day and there are plenty of bedrooms.”

This is sounding all too familiar.

Now, Aurelie skips some details here. The specifics of a sexual assault can be very difficult to write down, especially on social media.

We imagine that she intends for us to read between the lines, based upon Kristina Cohen’s account and common sense. If she takes this to police, she’ll have to fill in the blanks.

“And like Kristina, I said no and he pushed me face down and was powerless under his weight. I was wearing a one piece bathing suit that he ripped, I was in complete shock, I am also very tiny.”

One, this is awful and horrifying.

Two, we can confirm that Aurelie is tiny, just based upon her social media photos. She takes selfies with short people and still looks short beside them. She’s very petite.

“When it was over I got my cellphone and found that the girl that had invited me had left or got kicked out. I had terrible service in the estate without access to the wifi and had to get another friend to get me an Uber out of there while Ed was passed out.”

Awful and frightening.

Aurelie Wynn continues.

“I told the guy I was seeing that I got raped, Mark Salling, and when he found out by who he pretended not to know him, then blamed me for it and broke it off with me.”

A little over a month ago, Glee actor Mark Salling plead guilty to child porn charges. He’s gross, even beyond the victim-blaming that Aurelie describes.

It’s worth noting that, though the case fell through, Mark Salling was also accused of rape. (That case was thrown out because of how much time had passed — don’t even get us started on that)

Aurelie continues to describe the bitter aftermath:

“My other friends and people around me told me it was best not to say anything, to not be ‘that girl’ and that no one would believe me and think I was just out trying to get my 10 seconds of fame.”

That closely mirrors what Kristina has described after her own alleged rape.

Sadly, too many people — not just those in the entertainment business — would prefer to not know or not believe that evil walks among us, ruining lives and still being adored by fans and friends.

“And so I kept quiet and soon got to see and hear how prevalent sexual assault and intimidation goes on in this industry…to the point where I questioned how much I really wanted to be in entertainment as I didn’t see it getting better.”

She reached her conclusion.

“I’ve since moved on from acting and wanted just to reenforce Kristin Cohen’s claim[s] as I believe them to be true.”

It is so sad that she got chased out of pursuing her dream by such a nightmarish experience.

But it’s astoundingly brave for her to speak up now and lend her voice to Kristian Cohen’s accusation.

Aurelie continues:

“I believe you Kristina Cohen and thank you for speaking up so eloquently and really encompassing what young female actresses have to go through at the hands of men like Ed Westwick.”

She credits Kristina and her story for encouraging her to share her own.

“Without you I would not have had the strength to speak up publicly about my ordeal. #metoo

There are too many #MeToo stories, and yet we know that millions of women have yet to share theirs.

We need to make this world a better, safer place.