George Takei Blames His ‘Naughty Gay Grandpa’ Persona For His Questionable Howard Stern Interview

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In light of accusations made by a former male model that George Takei sexually assaulted him in the ’80s, the Star Trek actor initially responded by expressing shock and bewilderment at the claims which he insists “simply did not occur.” Many were hesitant to believe the accusations against the almost universally beloved gay rights activist, until a recent Howard Stern interview seemed to shed more light on things, in which Takei joked about groping men to persuade them into sex.

Takei subsequently blamed Russian bots for the controversy, and when that didn’t go well, he took to Facebook on Monday to try to at least explain the remarks he made to the shock jock. Expressing remorse for his now out-of-context remarks, Takei admitted that the joke was “distasteful” and apologized for making fun of a serious subject matter. Yet he remains steadfast that he’s innocent of the allegations being made against him.

For decades, I have played the part of a “naughty gay grandpa” when I visit Howard’s show, a caricature I now regret. But I want to be clear: I have never forced myself upon someone during a date. Sometimes my dates were the initiators, and sometimes I was. It was always by mutual consent. I see now that that it has come across poorly in the awkward sketch, and I apologize for playing along with Howard’s insinuation.

He concluded by reiterating that “non-consensual acts are anathema to [him and his] personal code of conduct,” and that he would never do something against anyone’s will. You can read his full statement below.