Actor George Takei has suggested Russian bots are helping spread a sexual misconduct accusation against him.
Former model Scott R. Brunton said last Friday that Takei groped him in 1981 at the actor’s Los Angeles condo.
“A friend sent me this,” Takei on Sunday said in a since-deleted tweet, according to Mic.
“It is a chart of what Russian bots have been doing to amplify stories containing the allegations against me,” he added.
“It’s clear they want to cow me into silence, but do not fear, friends. I won’t succumb to that.”
Mic reported that Takei’s tweet included a graphic from SecuringDemocracy.org illustrating the huge spike in trending topics among Russian bots during the last 24 hours.
The chart showed that Russian bot searches for “Takei” had risen nearly 20,000 percent in that time, while similar queries for “George Takei” had jumped by more than 15,000 percent.
“By way of background, when I criticized [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s anti-LGBT policies publicly, Russian bots attacked my FB page relentlessly, and we had to develop special security measures and ban all traffic from within the Russian Federation and the Ukraine,” he added in a second tweet that has since been erased. “I am accustomed to their practices.”
Brunton told The Hollywood Reporter last Friday that Takei tried taking advantage of him sexually while they were drinking together in 1981.
“The next thing I remember was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and 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 of the incident, which occurred after he had two drinks.
Takei in a series of tweets last Saturday denied that he had acted improperly around Brunton, adding he did not recall the former model.
“I want to assure you all that I am as shocked and bewildered at these claims as you must feel reading them,” he wrote.
“The events he describes back in the 190s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he claimed them now,” Takei added.
“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, and I wanted to provide my response thoughtfully and not out of the moment.”