News

‘X-Men’ director says sex abuse claims a ‘shakedown’

‘X-Men’ director says sex abuse claims a ‘shakedown’

ABUSE ALLEGATIONS:Bryan Singer, 48, said in a statement that the allegations are "outrageous, vicious and completely false." Photo: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The director of the forthcoming “X-Men” film on Thursday called claims that he sexually abused a teen more than a decade ago a “sick, twisted shakedown,” and said he was dropping out of promotional events for the movie ahead of its release.

Bryan Singer, 48, said in a statement that the allegations are “outrageous, vicious and completely false.”

Last week, Michael Egan, 31, accused Singer in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Hawaii of drugging and raping him in 1999 in Hawaii and California. Egan, who was an aspiring teen actor at the time, seeks unspecified damages.

“I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick, twisted shakedown it is,” Singer said in a statement, adding that he would not participate in media events for the film because it would be a distraction.

A message left for Egan’s attorney on Thursday was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit could overshadow the promotional rollout of Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which is expected to be one of the year’s top grossing films.

The film is estimated to gross $108 million in its opening weekend at the U.S. box office, according to BoxOffice.com.

The latest installment of the “X-Men” franchise stars Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence and Hugh Jackman, and is distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Singer’s attorney had previously denied the allegations.

Egan has also sued three other entertainment industry executives in Hawaii with sexually abusing him during that time. All three have denied the accusations.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Mohammad Zargham)

Recent Headlines

in Music

Paul McCartney drawings among Beatles auction

mccartney

The sketches, which are expected to fetch more than $16,000, feature line portraits of three figures who look like members of the band, and were found in an attic by the seller.

in Music

MTV VMAs: Tears, chaos, and music history

23-overlay17

The Executive Producer of the MTV Video Music Awards looks back at the craziest and the most unpredictable moments in the ceremony's history.

in Music

Aretha Franklin eyeing Broadway life story musical

arethafranklin

The Queen of Soul is already in negotiations for a possible film and TV mini-series about her life, and now she reveals she is talking to actress and director Marsha Mason about a stage show.

in Sports

Looking to future, more NCAA athletes seek own trademarks

ncaa

Some big stars in college football are getting trademarks for their names, nicknames and taglines.

in Sports

This football MVP is a real ‘dummy’

12-overlay12

Dartmouth football’s new MVP is a remote controlled Mobile Virtual Player designed to allow athletes to practice tackling with fewer injuries.