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Bryan Singer Cancels WonderCon Plans in Wake of Sexual Assault Lawsuit

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X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer has canceled his appearances this weekend at WonderCon Anaheim following a lawsuit that accuses him of drugging and raping a teenager in 1999.

BuzzFeed reports the filmmaker had been scheduled on Saturday to help promote the May 23 release of the Fox sequel with two hours of one-on-one interviews, as a press conference and press line. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg will now take his place.

Singer was sued Wednesday in Hawaii by Michael Egan III, who 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, Hawaii.

Appearing Thursday at a press conference with his attorney Jeff Herman, Egan said his mother first reported the abuse to the Los Angeles Police Department when he was 17, but “It basically fell on deaf ears and I basically buried it deep within me.” According to Variety, the 31-year-old plaintiff said he came forward now after he quit drinking two years ago and, more recently, entered a program for trauma therapy.

Although some, including Singer’s attorney, have questioned the timing of the lawsuit, given the fast-approaching premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s important to point out that in April 2012 Hawaii amended its statute of limitations for child sexual abuse civil cases, opening a two-year window to file complaints involving incidents that occurred many years earlier. That opportunity ends April 24.

The filmmaker’s attorney, Marty Singer, called the accusations against his client “completely without merit” and “completely fabricated,” saying, “We look forward to our bringing a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr. Egan and his attorney after we prevail.”

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Egan was a plaintiff in a 2000 lawsuit against Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley, hosts of a party in Encino, California, where he was allegedly assaulted, but he didn’t name Singer. According to TheWrap, the plaintiffs were granted a default judgment after Collins-Rector, Shackley and the third founder of the dot-com Digital Entertainment Network fled the country for Spain (Collins-Rector was eventually extradited back to the United States, where he pleaded guilty in to charges of transporting minors across state lines for sex).

Marty Singer claims that 2000 complaint proves his client’s innocence, telling TheWrap, “He filed a lawsuit with identical language and claims? That’s a smoking gun.”

“It’s clear that these statements are fabricated,” he elaborated to The Hollywood Reporter. “If Bryan had done anything wrong, he would have been included in the previous lawsuit.”

Fox, which is ramping up the promotional campaign for X-Men: Days of Future Past, issued its own statement about the accusations: “These are serious allegations, and they will be resolved in the appropriate forum. This is a personal matter, which Bryan Singer and his representatives are addressing separately.”

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Comments

  • Bl00dwerK

    I guess I can understand why he isn’t going, but doesn’t that make him look guilty?

  • http://www.spinoffonline.com Kevin Melrose

    No. If he went, he would be peppered with questions about the lawsuit, which his attorney wouldn’t permit him to answer anyway. The accusations would also overshadow X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was his reason for attending WonderCon.

  • ckburch

    No. It makes it look like he’s doing the right — and smart — thing by not allowing negative press to affect the project he’s working on. It shows that he’s taking these allegations seriously, regardless of whether he’s guilty or not. Also, innocent until proven guilty.

  • Micah 李 文 Jung

    so why isnt he going to be at WONDERCON! something to hid!

  • FandomPost

    Guilty or innocent, it’s probably not best to be photographed at a convention with a lot of kids. And it’s easy to imagine someone making a compromising shot from it as well.

  • Taylor Johns

    If Egan were a woman, CBR would be inundating us with op ed articles about how we need to boycott Singer.

  • Opus

    And we would all be deemed mysoginist bigots if we did not… And that barrz guy would write one of his tirades of the evil of the male gender, blah blah.

    By the way, this thing, I mean allegations against Singer are sadly probavbly true. He and his cohorts are still using the same tactics of picking young men. Search the pictures for the trip to Europe with his friends and their barely of age handsome personal assisstants.

  • Micah 李 文 Jung

    smells fishy he would drop out of wondercon what is he trying to hid?

  • jerzy

    Nope. You must have forgotten the Brian Wood sexual harassment allegations. They ignored the story for as long as they could and then, when they did print it, they printed his account in total but only a few, misleading excerpts from his accuser. CBR is pretty consistent with their bias on this sort of thing. Now, if it were Orson Scott Card…

  • lewis4510

    This isn’t going away. And Fox can’t afford the negative publicity. They may have to cut him lose. Bottom line is the X-Men movies are family films. Marvel/Disney could have grounds to terminate Fox franchise rights. I could see Disney threatening to sue to terminate if they don’t cut him loose.

  • Mark

    Yeah, that’s not how rights work.

  • axia777

    Yes, it really is. There are these things called “morality clauses”. If those clauses are added to a contract and the party that signed said contract violates those clauses it automatically nullifies said contract. For example from Wikipedia:

    “A morals clause is a provision within instruments of the contract which curtail, or restrain, or proscribe certain behavior of individuals or party(s) to the contract. A moral clause within contracts used as a means of holding the individual or Party(s) to a certain behavioral standard so as not to bring disrepute, contempt or scandal to other individual or party to the contract and their interests. It attempts to preserve a public and private image of such a party to the contract. In essence one party to the contract is purchasing the other party’s good name or reputation. These clauses are most seen in contracts between actors and actresses and their studios, athletes and their organization or proprietors of a product that the athlete(s) may endorse or as a part of a marital settlement. Commonly proscribed activity include the use or abuse of alcohol, the use of illegal drugs or narcotics or illegal or illicit sexual activity.[1]”

    For example, a sports star could have done somthing that his employer considers to be immoral, thus they could cancel his contract.

    This could conceivably happen to Fox with their contract with Marvel/Disney.

    BTW, I am not against people being gay at all. But if he is a child molester he deserves jail time.

  • matt

    Typical of FOX which is headed by another disgusting human being like rupert murdoch. The x-men movies have mostly been attached to Bryan Singer. This appauling act that he is accused of committing and associating with his work.

    FOX now is in the business of putting the director of x-men material with an accused pedophile and rapist.

  • Bl00dwerK

    I think it does…

  • Bl00dwerK

    That would be a dream come true…

  • me

    Tiger Woods losing his contracts after the hooker thing.

  • me

    Why is Rupert Murdoch more disgusting than others ?

  • Tommy Rankin

    At first it might seem like he has something to hide since he isn’t going but it doesn’t mean anything. If he did attend every interview related to DofP would end up concentrating on these accusations and it would overshadow all of their attempts to promote this film so it’s pretty easy to see why he chose to do this whether he’s guilty or not. Though I have to admit that reading all this new information makes me think that some of these accusations are probably true but if Singer is guilty or not is hard to say still.

  • metroid_fetish

    I bet he wishes he could go back in time and prevent this from happening. OMFG ROFL LOLOLOLOLOL HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA child rape LOL.

  • axia777

    Yes it would be. At least Marvel getting the rights to the X-Men back would be. Singer has his own business to deal with.

  • Dezz

    Well, I wasn’t supporting this upcoming film anyway…. X-men, Superman Returns and Giant Slayer were all crimes in itself.