Rumors that X-Men director Bryan Singer has been up to some pretty shady stuff behind the scenes with young male actors have been doing the rounds for years and now, with the Harvey Weinstein allegations ringing in our ears, he’s facing a lawsuit for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy back in 2003. It comes at the end of a bad week for Singer, too, having been fired a couple of days ago from Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
The lawsuit reads as follows:
“As a result of the misconduct and unlawful acts described herein, Plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer, general and special damages. These damages include, but are not limited to, emotional distress, mental anguish, physical and mental pain and suffering, a decrease in his ability to enjoy life, past and future medical expenses, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other general and special damages, all in an amount to be determined at trial”
The filing describes an incident on a yacht party hosted by tech investor Leslie Waters (known for throwing parties for young gay men in the Seattle area) in 2003 when Singer invited the teenage boy to a secluded back room and allegedly assaulted him. It should be noted that the age of consent in Washington state is 16-years-old, explaining why the director is facing sexual assault rather than statutory rape.
Worse, Singer allegedly later approached the plaintiff and explained that he could help make him famous as an actor as long as he never told anyone about the incident. In words that have a deeply unpleasant echo of other Hollywood sexual abusers, the boy was apparently told that if he went public no one would believe him and that he’d end up with a ruined reputation.
Singer’s representative has said the following in response: “Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time the director has defended himself against accusations like this. In 2003, Michael Egan III filed a suit claiming that Singer had drugged and raped him at a Hollywood party. Egan eventually withdrew the case, however, and in 2014 spent two years behind bars on securities and wire fraud. The director also faced a lawsuit from a 14-year-old extra who said that Singer had ordered him and other minors to strip on the set of Apt Pupil for a shower scene.
Apparently, Bryan Singer is pursuing counterclaims for malicious prosecution, but who knows what unpleasant details will be revealed over the course of the hearings. As always, watch this space for more.