'X-Men' director hit by sex abuse claims
A man who has sued Bryan Singer for sexual abuse, says his claims went unheeded for years.
LOS ANGELES - A man who has sued filmmaker Bryan Singer, the director of the upcoming blockbuster action film X-Men: Days of Future Past for allegedly raping him as a teenager, said on Thursday that his claims of sexual abuse went unheeded by authorities.
Michael Egan, who was an aspiring teen actor, said he and his mother told the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI in late 1999 and 2000 that he was being abused by an underage sex ring.
"What happened was basically it fell on deaf ears," Egan said at a news conference seated next to his attorney, Jeff Herman. "We didn't get anywhere and then I basically buried it in me as deep as I possibly could."
Herman filed a civil lawsuit on Wednesday in federal court in Hawaii, alleging that Singer used his influence as a Hollywood insider as well as a range of drugs and alcohol to force anal and oral sex on Egan while promising him film roles.
Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, has called the claims "completely fabricated." The LAPD said it won't comment on current litigation.
The lawsuit comes weeks before Singer's film opens in US theatres. It could complicate the global promotion rollout for distributor 20th Century Fox by pushing the director's legal problem to the forefront of what is expected to be one of the year's top-grossing films.
The film, starring Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence, is projected to gross $103 million in its opening weekend, according to Boxoffice.com.
"We look forward to our bringing a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr Egan and his attorney after we prevail," Singer's attorney said in a statement after the news conference.
Egan said he brought the suit now after going through trauma therapy, which he began 11 months ago.
"I was raped numerous times in that house by numerous individuals," Egan said. "You were like a piece of meat to these people. They'd pass you around between them."
Singer, who directed X-Men in 2000 and its sequel X2 in 2003, is also signed on to direct the next instalment in the franchise X-Men: Apocalypse, for Fox. The film is scheduled to be released in 2016.
"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,"Fox said in a statement.
Egan seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial after wide-ranging abuses at California and Hawaii house parties beginning in the late 1990s, according to the civil action.