HONOLULU (CBS/AP) — A former child model and aspiring actor is accusing “X-Men” franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday says the director of the forthcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past” forced Michael Egan III into sex during parties in California and Hawaii when he was 15-17 in the late 1990s.
Singer’s attorney Marty Singer says in a statement that the claims are “absurd and defamatory.” He says the lawsuit is an obvious attempt to get publicity ahead of the director’s next movie. The statement also said Singer planned to counter sue over “the completely fabricated” claims. He said the director will file “a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr. Egan and his attorney after we prevail.”
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is set for release May 23. It’s the fifth film in the franchise.
Egan said most of the abuse he suffered took place at the Encino home of a Singer friend and associate. But that the director also once took him on a trip to Hawaii where the sexual abuse continued. “You were a piece of meat. There was no relationship,” he said, “you were a piece of meat.”
At a press conference Thursday, Egan said he was raped repeatedly when he was just 15 at the home of Internet mogul Mark Collins-Rector. He said Collins-Rector lured underage boys to his Encino home with promises of roles in Hollywood productions. He says he was drugged and threatened to keep quiet.
“You have a gun put in your mouth,” Egan said, “and you believe they will pull the trigger on you at any time. Do you not listen to what they tell you to do? Maybe it would be different as an adult. But as a child, I was scared to death.”
The FBI said Thursday that it investigated allegations back in 2000 involving Egan and successfully prosecuted a man as a result. It did not name Collins-Rector. But FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller added, “the suggestion that the FBI ignored evidence involving the sexual victimization of a child is ludicrous.”
Collins-Rector was convicted in Florida of transporting minors across state lines for sex.
CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo asked the LAPD about Egan’s allegation that he spoke to them 15 years ago but police said they had no record of an interview.
The lawsuit is possible in Hawaii because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases.
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