April 16, 2014 8:22pm PT by Jonathan Handel
Director Bryan Singer Accused of Sexually Abusing 17-Year-Old Boy in 1999
Bryan Singer, director, producer and writer of more than two dozen productions including the X-Men films, was accused Wednesday in a federal lawsuit of having sexually abused a 17-year-old boy at estates in Los Angeles and Kailua, Hawaii where firearms, drugs and alcohol were present. The alleged conduct took place in 1999 and included rape and other physical force and forced intoxication with cocaine, including at "sordid parties," according to the highly graphic lawsuit.
"The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit," said Singer's attorney Marty Singer. "We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit.
"It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan's new movie (X-Men: Days of Future Past) is about to open in a few weeks," he said.
The plaintiff is Michael F. Egan III, a Nevada resident who grew up in the Midwest and moved to Los Angeles with his family as a teen to further his acting career. Egan, who is 31 today and describes himself as heterosexual, filed the suit without a pseudonym and his name appears in a press release issued by his counsel. He alleges that Singer and others threatened to make or break his Hollywood aspirations depending on whether he kept them happy.
Egan has contacted police authorities, his lawyer’s media director told THR. An LAPD spokesperson said he had not seen a complaint but would look further, and messages left with the Honolulu Police Dept. were not returned.
"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children,” said Egan’s attorney, Jeff Herman, who handles sexual abuse cases across the country. “This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue.”
According to the suit, the Los Angeles parties were held at a mansion in Encino referred to as the M & C Estate, whose residents were Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley, whose younger brother Scott Shackley was in Egan’s high school class. Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley were principals of Digital Entertainment Network, an early online streaming video company. The complaint asserts that Collins-Rector sexually abused Egan and threatened him with a gun, but does not name him as a defendant.
(Collins-Rector subsequently was charged and pled guilty to transporting minors across state lines for sex, and is a registered sex offender.)
The suit says that the sexual abuse in Hawaii took place at the Paul Mitchell estate. It alleges that Singer supplied Egan with drugs and alcohol, forced him to inhale cocaine, pushed Egan into a swimming pool, later held his head underwater, and repeatedly raped him. These were combined, the suit says, with threats, as well as with promises of employment by Singer.
The suit demands an unspecified amount and asserts claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion. The suit also notes that a “Certificate of Merit” is being filed under seal and cites a section of Hawaii statutes that appears to require suits alleging sexual abuse of a minor to be filed at latest by the time the minor reaches age 26. However, the Herman firm’s media director said there is “a 2-year ‘window’ legislation in Hawaii right now that lifts the statute of limitations without regard to age.”
Herman has scheduled a press conference tomorrow in Los Angeles.
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