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The lawyer for an anonymous U.K. citizen who filed a suit Saturday against Bryan Singer and Gary Goddard for teenage sexual assault held a press conference Monday, at which he displayed photos that he said showed the plaintiff as a teenager with the two defendants — but it was impossible to immediately verify the claim because the asserted teenager’s face was blacked out in the photos.
Representatives of both Singer and Goddard have previously denied the allegations in the suit.
Other pictures displayed at the press conference showed the subject alone, in one case shirtless with khaki shorts and in another wearing just a towel, but in both cases with his face not visible. The latter photo appears in the body of an email that purports to be from Goddard, with the subject line “the closest thing I have to a ‘naughty’ shot of you.” The text of the email reads: “Haha — it’s not all that naughty because you wouldn’t let me take any of you showing even a bit of your bum.”
A final photo shows a card dated Sept. 5, 2004, that says: “Here’s your Hershey’s surprise box!” It describes the candy that was apparently enclosed with the card and how the sender carried it “by hand from Hershey to NYC to London.” According to the lawyer, Jeff Herman, the card is signed “Love Gary,” although in viewing the image this is not completely clear.
View the images here.
The plaintiff, identified in the suit as “John Doe 117,” alleges that Goddard contacted him via social media in 2003 when he was 14, and that nude webcam sessions followed when he was 15. Later, according to the suit, when the teen was 15, they lay in bed naked together in a London hotel room, and when the teen was 16, Goddard had sex with him. The age of consent in England is (and was then) 16, but the lawsuit argues that the California age of consent, 18, should apply because Singer and Goddard allegedly formulated their sexual plans regarding the teen while in California. In addition, the federal age, also 18, assertedly applies to travel from the U.S. for sexual purposes.
Singer had sex with the plaintiff at a Superman afterparty in a London hotel room when the plaintiff was 17, according to the suit. (This is presumably a reference to Singer’s Superman Returns, which had its U.K. premiere July 13, 2006.) The boy resisted, the suit continues, but Goddard brought in a “large, muscle-bound man,” who smacked the teenager around, holding him while Singer grabbed him and Goddard, naked on the bed, watched. Singer then allegedly attempted to rape the plaintiff. The complaint, although a civil matter, states or suggests that Singer and Goddard violated federal and state criminal law.
There was no further sexual contact after this incident, Herman said, but there was further communication between Goddard or Singer and the plaintiff. As recently as Saturday — two days ago — Goddard attempted to communicate with the plaintiff via the Internet, said Herman, asking, “How are you doing?” Herman said the plaintiff didn’t respond. The suit was filed Saturday, but didn’t become public until the next day.
Herman said the plaintiff still had the envelope in which his premiere ticket was enclosed as well as souvenir gifts from the premiere such as a Superman bracelet. He said that he did not know the identity of the “muscle-bound man” and urged anyone with information to contact him.
Herman is the same attorney who filed teen sex abuse suits in recent weeks on behalf of Michael Egan against Singer, Goddard and two others. All four have denied the allegations in the Egan suits. Herman said that John Doe 117 was “inspired by Mike Egan last week” and that that — and the defendants’ attorneys’ “aggressive denials about Mike” — led him to come forward.
Singer’s lawyer, Marty Singer (no relation), has dismissed the latest allegations as “totally untrue” and said “we will…prove (them) to be completely false.”
Goddard’s lawyers, Alan Grodin and Paul Gaspari, have said, “The allegations made against Mr. Goddard are vehemently denied and will be vigorously defended at any trial of these matters and Mr. Goddard is entirely confident that he will be fully vindicated.”
Herman said that some of the plaintiffs’ lawyers had threatened him (not physically, he clarified), but that he would not back down. “I’m not going to be bullied,” he said. “And my clients are not going to be bullied. They’re going to be protected.”
The plaintiff’s identification as “John Doe No. 117” is, according to the complaint, “strictly for internal organization at the office of plaintiff’s counsel and should not be construed to mean that there have been 117 abuse victims of Defendants.” The online publication RadarOnline posted a story Monday purporting to identify the plaintiff, but it was taken down shortly after Herman called the publication.
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