The filmmaker's lawyer calls suit 'absurd and defamatory'
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer has been accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy in 1999 in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Hawaii federal court.
The plaintiff, Michael Egan, claims he was 15 years old when Singer forcibly sodomized him, among other allegations. Egan’s lawyers, led by Jeff Herman, allege that Singer provided him with drugs and alcohol and flew him to Hawaii on more than one occasion in 1999. His suit claims battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion, and it seeks unspecified damages.
Singer’s attorney, Marty Singer, called the lawsuit “absurd and defamatory.”
“The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit,” the attorney said. “We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated.”
Marc Collins-Rector, the former chairman of Digital Entertainment Network, an ambitious Internet startup that sputtered in the dotcom bust of 2000, is also cited in the Singer lawsuit, although he is not named as a defendant. He is accused of initiating the sexual abuse of Egan and arranging for Singer to assault Egan at a house in Encino, Calif.
Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender, having pleaded guilty in 2004 to luring minors across state lines for sexual acts.
The lawsuit alleges that Collins-Rector and his Digital Entertainment Network investors, including Singer, would lure young men to a house dubbed the M & C Estate in Encino to intoxicate and sexually assault them and that many in the Hollywood industry were aware of the “notorious parties.”
Egan, an aspiring actor and model at the time, claims that Singer provided him with several drugs, including cocaine, a pill identified as “green triangle” which is believed to be a reference to the drug Ecstasy, Xanax, Rohypnol, and Vicodin or Percocet, in addition to alcoholic beverages.
Herman is a sexual abuse attorney based in Boca Raton, Fla., who also represented the plaintiffs who accused Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexual abuse. He and Egan are scheduled to appear at a press conference on Thursday in Beverly Hills.
“Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children,” Herman said in a statement. “This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue.”
The suit claims that Egan was 14 or 15 when he moved to Los Angeles with his family to pursue an acting career. A friend from a small private school in the San Fernando Valley, Scott Shackley, introduced him to his older brother, Chad, in 1998. Chad Shackley, according to the suit, lived in the M & C Estate in Encino with Collins-Rector, and Egan and Scott Shackley would visit. Eventually, Egan was placed on the DEN payroll, provided with extravagant gifts, and taken via private jet on various trips, along with the opportunity to audition for acting and modeling jobs, the suit states.
But the parties at the M&C Estate were “well known and notorious” among “many men in the Hollywood entertainment industry,” the suit states, as they were “typically sordid and featured sexual contact between adult males and the many teenage boys who were present,” along with the distribution of alcohol and drugs.
Wednesday’s suit graphically detailed one of the encounters at the M & C Estate between Collins-Rector, Singer and Egan:
Collins-Rector ordered Plaintiff out of the pool, and Defendant Singer hugged Plaintiff and grabbed his bare buttocks. They then went to the jacuzzi where Collins-Rector had Plaintiff sit on his lap and fondled Plaintiff’s genitals. Collins-Rector then passed Plaintiff to Defendant Singer and Plaintiff was made to sit on Defendant Singer’s lap. Defendant Singer provided an alcoholic beverage to Plaintiff and mentioned finding a role for him in an upcoming movie that he was directing. Defendant Singer told Plaintiff how “this group” controls Hollywood, and that he was sexy. Defendant Singer masturbated Plaintiff and then performed oral sex upon him. Defendant Singer solicited Plaintiff to perform oral sex upon him which Plaintiff resisted. Defendant Singer flagrantly disregarded Plaintiff’s unwillingness to submit, and forced Plaintiff’s head underwater to make Plaintiff perform oral sex upon him. When Plaintiff pulled his head out of the water in order to breathe, Defendant Singer demanded that he continue which Plaintiff refused. Defendant Singer then forced Plaintiff to continue performing oral sex upon him outside of the pool, and subsequently forcibly sodomized Plaintiff.
When he was 17, Egan claims in the suit, he was flown to Hawaii to stay at the Paul Mitchell estate, and on the first of the trips he was instructed to spend the first two nights in a room with Singer. He claims that Singer forced him to inhale cocaine and later forced him to have oral and anal sex. Egan claims that Singer sexually assaulted him on a second trip to Hawaii as well.
Egan claims in the suit that he never “freely, voluntarily and knowingly consented to these sexual interactions, and often resisted them.”
The filmmaker, 48, is the director 20th Century Fox’s upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and most recently helmed “Jack the Giant Slayer” for Warner Bros.
(Stuart Oldham contributed to this report.)