Jeff Herman has withdrawn as the attorney for Michael Egan, the plaintiff who accused director Bryan Singer and Hollywood executives of sexual assault in the late 1990s, when he was a minor. He withdrew from the case shortly after a report that he and Singer’s lawyer, Martin Singer, had agreed to settle the lawsuit for $100,000 but Egan refused.
In a statement, Herman said that his firm is “in the process of withdrawing from representing Mr. Egan in all his cases and have no further comment concerning his matters at this time. We cannot comment on any actual or purported documents that may or may not be or reflect privileged or confidential communications. We decline to speak about any other clients we may or may not have represented.”
The statement was released after Buzzfeed posted a story revealing a document showing the settlement. “This exact kind of take-it-and-shut-up deal is why I decided to stand up in the first place,” Egan told Buzzfeed. “Being silenced goes completely against what I believe in and offers no protection for other vulnerable children.”
The director has denied Egan’s claims, and his attorney has filed a motion to dismiss the case, calling it an “attempted shakedown.” Egan dropped his claims against Garth Ancier, Gary Goddard and David Neuman.
In a statement sent to Variety, Martin Singer said that “as Mr. Egan and his now ex-lawyers know, a legitimate claim in this type of case can run into the millions or dollars, so their willingness to resolve it for such a relatively low figure demonstrates their total lack of confidence in their chances for success. This was their way of trying to save face after an unsuccessful attempted shakedown of Bryan Singer.
“Bryan and his team will continue to fight to clear his name and intend to pursue charges of malicious prosecution against Egan.”
In a filing in U.S. District Court in Hawaii, Singer’s lawyers asked the court to keep a Sept. 9 hearing on their motion for dismissal, as well as a motion for summary judgment, even though Egan’s attorney has withdrawn.
Update: In their motion to withdraw filed in Hawaii, Herman and Egan’s Honolulu-based attorney, Mark F. Gallagher, say that relations had “deteriorated” with their client, and Gallagher said that conflicts of interest “have arisen.” A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Aug. 6. They also say that Egan has retained another attorney, John C. Manly, who is well known for representing plaintiffs in clerical sexual abuse cases and was featured prominently in the documentary “Deliver Us from Evil.”