BRYAN SINGER, the director-producer of dozens of films, including the “X-Men” franchise, is being accused of sexually abusing a male teenager in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Hawaii, entertainment-media outlets such as The Wrap and Variety are reporting.
Michael F. Egan III of Nevada was named as the plaintiff in a news release from his attorneys. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Singer, now 48, sexually assaulted Egan in Hawaii and Los Angeles in the late ’90s, when Egan was an aspiring actor and model in his mid-teens.
The civil suit — which also alleges that Singer forced Egan to take drugs, according to court documents — is seeking damages warranting more than $75,000 involving four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.
Marc Collins-Rector, former chairman of Digital Entertainment Network, is also named in the lawsuit. Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender since a 2004 guilty plea involving illegally transporting minors for sex, Variety reports.
Jeff Herman, a lawyer for Egan, is the same attorney who has represented plaintiffs in the sex-abuse litigation against former “Sesame Street” Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash.
Update: At a news conference Thursday in Los Angeles, Egan, 31, said his mother filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department and FBI in 1999, alleging sexual abuse over non-consensual sex with a minor; the LAPD told the Associated Press it was looking into whether a report was filed. Egan’s attorney also alleged the case involved a sex-abuse ring that operated out of the Los Angeles suburb of Encino, and that involved multiple minors.
“The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit,” the filmmaker’s attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement. “We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit.
“It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity,” continued Singer’s lawyer, noting its timing in relation to the May opening of Singer’s next film, “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
Update: Singer’s attorney said Thursday that his client planned to countersue with “a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr. Egan and his attorney after we prevail,” Variety reports. Fox, the distributor of the X-Men films, said Thursday in a statement: “These are serious allegations, and they will be resolved in the appropriate forum. This is a personal matter, which Bryan Singer and his representatives are addressing separately.”