Director of the X-Men franchise, Bryan Singer, is facing a series of charges. The producer and writer of over two-dozen productions was accused, for the second time last Wednesday, of sexual assaulting a minor. The plaintiff, Michael F. Egan, has accused Singer of drugging and raping him 15 years ago. Egan was 17 years old at the time. The lawsuit, which was filed in Hawaii, states that Singer sexually assaulted Egan in California and Hawaii. In the graphic details of the allegations, Egan has accused Singer of forcing alcohol and drugs on him, raping him several times, and threatening him into silence. The official court documents mention “sordid parties,” hosted by Singer and former Digital Entertainment Network chairman, Marc Collins-Rector. Collins-Rector pleaded guilty in 2004 to charges of transporting five minors across state lines for sex, and is currently a registered sex-offender. According to Egan’s allegations, Collins-Rector raped Egan at gunpoint, and arranged for Singer to assault Egan as well. Although he is not named as a defendant, Collins-Rector is cited in the lawsuit, which claims he initiated the abuse and allowed the assaults to continue in his home in Encino, California. Charges against Bryan Singer include intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault, and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion.
In official court documents, Egan describes notorious parties that took place at Collins-Rector’s California estate, saying that Collins-Rector and his investors would lure under-aged boys to the house giving them drugs and alcohol before assaulting them. The lawsuit also states that “many men in the Hollywood entertainment industry” knew about the parties, where adult males would engage in sexual contact with teenage boys. In his official statement, Egan says the men manipulated him and other minors by placing them on payroll, and giving them extravagant gifts as payment for having sex with the adult men who visited the estate. Egan also claims that the men “threatened to eliminate him and his family,” saying they would “destroy” Egan if he disclosed the events of the parties.
This is the second time Bryan Singer has been accused of sexual assault of a minor. In 1997, an extra from the film Apt Pupil accused Singer of forcing him to get naked during the filming of a shower scene. Singer did not have parental consent to film the minor naked, but although the alleged behavior of Singer was in violation of California law and the rules of the Screen Actors Guild, the case was thrown out due to insufficient evidence. Bryan Singer has denied both accusations of sexual assault. His lawyer released a statement following the most recent allegations, saying “the claims … are completely without merit.” While Singer’s lawyers call the allegations “absurd and defamatory” claiming the “case was filed in an attempt to get publicity,” Egan’s attorney Jeff Herman vows to give voice to the plaintiffs, stating “Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children.” Herman, who handles sexual abuse cases across the country, says this is the first of many cases he will be filing in an attempt to expose the issue.
Commentary by Sandra Pugliese