×

Bryan Singer to Pay $150,000 to Resolve Rape Claim

Director Bryan Singer has agreed to pay $150,000 to resolve allegations that he raped a 17-year-old boy in 2003.

Cesar Sanchez-Guzman filed a lawsuit in December 2017 in which he alleged that the director had sexually assaulted him during a yacht party in Seattle. Sanchez-Guzman claimed that Singer performed oral sex on him against his will, and anally penetrated him. Singer denied the allegations.

In a filing on Wednesday, a bankruptcy trustee recommended that the court approve a $150,000 settlement with Singer.

Sanchez-Guzman filed for bankruptcy in 2014, and the case was discharged. The bankruptcy trustee reopened the case in 2018, on the grounds that Sanchez-Guzman’s claim against Singer had not been listed among his assets, and that any proceeds should be available to his creditors.

The trustee, Nancy James, reached the settlement agreement with Singer’s attorneys. In her filing, James notes that Singer’s attorneys have argued that Sanchez-Guzman’s claims should be barred by the statute of limitations. She also notes that no evidence has been produced showing that Singer attended the yacht party.

“The trustee has determined that those issues favor settlement,” James’ attorney wrote.

In a statement, Singer’s attorney Andrew Brettler said that the director maintains his innocence.

“The debtor filed a claim against Mr. Singer that he had no basis or legal right to file,” Brettler said. “Mr. Singer has denied even knowing this individual, let alone allegedly having interacted with him more than 15 years ago. The decision to resolve the matter with the bankruptcy trustee was purely a business one, as litigation costs would well exceed the amount requested by the trustee to pay off the creditors who were owed money when the debtor filed for bankruptcy.”

Under the terms of the agreement, $61,000 would go to creditors. The bulk of those claims represent student loan debt, which is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Additional funds will be used to pay for administration of the case. Sanchez-Guzman will end up with the remainder.

“There should be at least nominal funds being returned to the debtor as surplus at the end of the case,” James’ attorney wrote, adding that he will also benefit from having his student loans paid off. “The settlement will relieve the debtor of a significant nondischargeable debt.”

If the settlement is approved, Sanchez-Guzman’s lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice.

The suit was filed shortly after Singer was fired as the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” More recently, Millennium Films had hired Singer to direct “Red Sonja,” but plans to shoot the film in Bulgaria this year were canceled.

In January, the Atlantic published allegations of sexual misconduct involving four teenage boys. Singer’s attorneys have consistently denied that he engaged in sex with underage boys, and disputed many aspects of the accusers’ accounts.

More Biz

  • Recording Academy President/CEO Deborah Dugan participates

    Executive Assistant Preparing Lawsuit Against Ousted Grammy Chief

    In the latest twist in the increasingly bitter exit of Deborah Dugan from the Recording Academy after just five months, the ousted president/CEO is about to face a lawsuit from her former assistant, Claudine Little, who has retained former Harvey Weinstein/ Charlie Walk attorney Patty Glaser to represent her, two sources tell Variety. The news was [...]

  • Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent

    Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent Kew Media Group's Stake In Business

    Two Rivers Media has bought out parent group Kew Media Group’s minority stake in the business. Formed by former STV Productions head Alan Clements in January 2019, the production outfit behind Channel 5’s recent “Susan Hill’s Ghost Story” launched with the backing of Kew, Noble Grossart Investments and Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund. Noble Grossart [...]

  • Grammy Awards 60th Annual Grammy Awards,

    Recording Academy Paid Millions Annually to Outside Law Firms

    Among the concerns listed in a memo sent to the Recording Academy’s head of HR by president/CEO Deborah Dugan before she was placed on administrative leave Thursday was an item about the organization’s “exorbitant and unnecessary” legal fees to outside law firms, according to sources familiar with the document. According to the most recent 990 [...]

  • Chuck D of Public EnemyGods of

    Public Enemy’s Chuck D Slams Grammys Over Deborah Dugan Ouster

    Chuck D, frontman of Public Enemy — who are receiving the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys next week — posted a long statement on Instagram criticizing the Recording Academy over its sudden ousting of new president/CEO Deborah Dugan yesterday. Dugan, who had been in the job only five months, was placed on administrative leave after [...]

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

  • Deborah Dugan arrives for the 20th

    Deborah Dugan's Recording Academy Ouster Follows Multiple Tussles With Board

    “Change is afoot,” Deborah Dugan said more than once during interviews with Variety in the weeks before her shocking removal from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy after just five months on the job. During those conversations, Dugan spoke of changes she planned to make in the Academy’s staffing organization, its Board of [...]

  • Weinstein Trial

    Does Harvey Weinstein's Jury Selection Strategy Make Any Sense?

    Harvey Weinstein’s defense team appeared to have a strategy for jury selection: keep white women off the panel. They didn’t put it that way, because picking jurors based on race or gender is illegal. But on Thursday and again on Friday, prosecutor Joan Illuzzi accused the defense of using its peremptory challenges to systematically exclude [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content