2:36pm PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
Bryan Singer Sex Abuse Accuser Dropped by Lawyer
With director Bryan Singer's motion to dismiss the teen sex abuse lawsuit filed against him by Michael Egan still pending in Hawaii, Egan's attorney Jeff Herman is withdrawing from the case, Herman said in a statement Tuesday.
The announcement follows a BuzzFeed report that Herman, Singer and the director's attorney Marty Singer (no relation) had signed an agreement to settle the case in June for $100,000, but that Egan had refused to sign. BuzzFeed claims to have obtained the settlement agreement and a second document — a June 25 letter in which an attorney from Herman's firm wrote to Egan that the firm would represent three other clients and a potential fourth in sexual abuse cases against Singer.
Previously, only one other suit against the X-Men director had been reported, filed by an anonymous British actor referred to as "John Doe 117." Singer was dismissed from that case last week, but it remains pending against another defendant, Gary Goddard.
"We are in the process of withdrawing from representing Mr. Egan in all his cases and have no further comment concerning his matters at this time. We cannot comment on any actual or purported documents that may or may not be or reflect privileged or confidential communications. We decline to speak about any other clients we may or may not have represented," reads the statement from Herman's office.
"As Mr. Egan and his now ex-lawyers know, a legitimate claim in this type of case can run into the millions of dollars, so their willingness to resolve it for such a relatively low figure demonstrates their total lack of confidence in their chances for success. This was their way of trying to save face after an unsuccessful attempted shakedown of Bryan Singer," Marty Singer said of the settlement agreement in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "Let us be clear, this in no way changes the fact that Bryan Singer is innocent of these unsubstantiated lies."
Egan filed suit in April against Singer and three other defendants — David Neuman, Garth Ancier and Goddard — claiming that they drugged him and forced him into sexual relations at parties in Hawaii starting when Egan was 15. All four defendants have vehemently denied the accusations. Singer has called them "outrageous, vicious and completely false," and his attorney Singer penned a scathing letter to Herman over the allegations.
The lawsuits against Neuman, Ancier and Goddard were all dropped after motions to dismiss from the defendants, and Ancier has sued Egan, Herman and attorney Michael Gallagher for malicious prosecution and abuse of process. The plaintiff has, however, filed a new suit against Neuman.
The defendants' motions to dismiss claimed that they had not been in Hawaii on the two 1999 occasions on which Egan alleges he was abused. They also cited a deposition given in 2003 by Egan himself in a separate sex abuse lawsuit he filed against executives of the now-defunct Digital Entertainment Network. In the deposition, Egan had said that he had "never had any trips outside the continental U.S." with the DEN defendants, contradicting his 2014 assertions he had taken such trips with the earlier and the current defendants, and that no one but the DEN defendants had been "partaking in all this stuff," meaning the alleged abuse.