George Takei congratulates Australia on gay marriage vote, denies sex harassment claims

Star Trek icon George Takei has used his Australian tour to congratulate the country on the outcome of the same-sex marriage survey and once again deny sexually harassing a former model in the early 1980s.

The 80-year-old actor, speaking at the Melbourne Town Hall on Thursday evening, labelled the allegations a "fantastical claim".

"I was completely taken aback," he said. "It is a complete falsehood. And yet, here was a journalist asking for comment."

Takei said he didn't respond to the allegations straight away because he didn't want to turn the situation into a "he said, she said" and therefore "generate more stories".

"Some of my friends suggested I cancel this appearance," he said. "I thought, why should I do that? This is a falsehood - I have never met the man. I don't know what motivated him."

Fairfax Media understands Takei wanted to discuss the topic of sexual misconduct in Hollywood further so as to clear the air, but was told not to by his managers.

The Star Trek icon came under fire earlier this month after a former model accused him of sexual assault. Scott Brunton told The Hollywood Reporterhe had "passed out" at Takei's condo in the early '80s and woke to find him groping his crotch.

"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," Brunton said.

Takei later denied the accusations to his millions of social media followers, saying the alleged assault "simply did not occur".

"I do not know why he has claimed them now," he said. "I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr Brunton, and I cannot say that I do. Right now it is a he said, he said situation over alleged events nearly 40 years ago.

"Those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practises. The very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful."

After the public denial, Takei was forced to apologise for an interview he did in October where he talked about "trying to persuade" men who are "kind of skittish". The LGBTIQ activist said the sit-down chat with US TV personality Howard Stern was distasteful.

"I'm very sorry he and I made fun out of a serious matter," he said. "For decades, I have played the part of a 'naughty gay grandpa' when I visited Howard's show, a caricature I now regret. But I want to be clear: I have never forced myself upon someone during a date."

This story George Takei congratulates Australia on gay marriage vote, denies sex harassment claims first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.