Last of High-Profile Hollywood Sex Abuse Cases Withdrawn
Spring allegations of a gay Hollywood sex abuse ring resulted in nine civil cases, all later dropped
An anonymous British plaintiff known as John Doe No. 117 voluntarily dismissed his teen sex abuse case against entertainment executive Gary Goddard Tuesday, bringing to an apparent end a series of cases against director Bryan Singer, Goddard and two others that were filed with great fanfare in the spring.
The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be refiled. Singer, who had also been a defendant in the case, was dismissed as a defendant with prejudice in July. Representatives for Doe and Goddard did not respond to requests for comment.
The first of what became nine separate cases was filed by plaintiff Michael Egan against Singer last April in Hawaii, alleging abuse in Los Angeles and Hawaii from 1997 to 1999. The suit was filed just weeks before the release of Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past and was followed by nearly identical suits in Hawaii against Goddard and television executives David Neuman and Garth Ancier, then by four suits in Los Angeles against anonymous defendants that appeared to be mirror images of the Hawaii suits. All four men denied the allegations.
At the time, Egan's lawyer Jeff Herman spoke darkly of a gay Hollywood sex ring that preyed on young males and indicated that he expected to bring numerous additional suits, some of which would allege abuse of young males and some of young females. The allegations brought intense media coverage and garnered worldwide attention. Singer was forced to withdraw from publicity for the X-Men film.
But in the end, the only other suit Herman filed was John Doe 117's, which is now dismissed. Meanwhile, Egan's cases collapsed under the weight of prior sworn statements he had made indicating he had never been to Hawaii, had not been abused by anyone other than three Internet executives he had sued in 2000 and had not, in particular, been abused by Neuman.
All of Egan's cases have since been withdrawn and Herman dropped his client.
Those withdrawals were dismissals without prejudice, but neither Egan nor his new advisory counsel appear to have made any move to refile the cases. That doesn't mean they're not busy though: Ancier filed a malicious prosecution case against Egan, Herman and Egan's Hawaii counsel in June, and the former accuser, Egan, now a defendant, has been responding to motions in that suit. A hearing is set for October 17 in Honolulu.
Ironically, Tuesday's dismissal of the Doe case came on the same day that an audio tape emerged on which 7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins allegedly admits to having had sexual contact with several girls under the age of 14. Collins has been dropped from the cast of Ted 2 and has resigned from the SAG-AFTRA board.