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Bryan Singer, director of such films as X-Men: Days of Future Past and Superman Returns, is accused in a new lawsuit of sexually assaulting a teenage boy about 15 years ago.
In a complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in Hawaii, Michael Egan III alleges that in 1999, when he was 17, the filmmaker gave him alcohol and drugs, including cocaine, Xanax and Rohypnol, and forcibly sodomized him at estates in Los Angeles and Kailua. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Egan, now 31, and his attorney have scheduled a press conference today in Beverly Hills.
Singer’s attorney Marty Singer denies the accusations, telling the website, “The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit. 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.”
The lawsuit states that Egan moved from with his family from the Midwest to Los Angeles when he was 14 or 15 to pursue a career in acting and modeling. In 1998, Egan’s classmate Scott Shackley introduced him to his older brother Chad Shackley, who lived with Marc Collins-Rector at a $4.2 million mansion in Encino, California, dubbed the M&C Estate. The two were co-founders of Digital Entertainment Network, an early multimedia/online video-streaming company that abruptly collapsed in 2000 following the settlement of a lawsuit accusing Collins-Rector of having a three-year sexual relationship with a minor. Collins-Rector, Shackley and their 18-year-old business partner Brock Pierce resigned from the dot-com, and turned up in Spain. Collins-Rector was eventually extradited to the United States, where he pleaded guilty in 2004 to transporting minors across state lines for sex.
Wednesday’s lawsuit echoes reports from years earlier of “sordid parties” at the M&C Estate. Egan claims he was sexually assaulted by Singer, a DEN investor, both there and at the Paul Mitchell estate in Hawaii. The plaintiff alleges he was threatened by Singer and others that they could make or break his hopes for a career in Hollywood.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion.