A former child model and aspiring actor has filed a federal lawsuit in Hawaii Wednesday accusing "X-Men," "X2," and "Superman Returns" director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager.
The plaintiff, Michael Egan III, accuses Singer of forcing him into sex during parties in California and Hawaii when Egan was 17 years old in 1999, reports the Associated Press.
Singer’s attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement that the claims are "absurd and defamatory."
“It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan’s new movie is about to open in a few weeks,” said Singer, (no relation to the director). The director's latest film, "X-Men: Days of Future Past," opens on May 23, 2014.
Egan and his attorney, Jeff Herman, reportedly plan a news conference Thursday in Los Angeles.
“Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children,” Herman said in a statement Wednesday night.
According to the AP, the lawsuit does not specify a total dollar amount, but says Egan is seeking more than $75,000 on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.
“The lawsuit claims Egan was lured into a sex ring with promises of auditions for acting, modeling and commercial jobs. He was paid as an actor for a digital entertainment company, but forced to have sex with adult men at parties notorious within Hollywood’s entertainment industry,” the AP reports.
“The lawsuit says that Bryan Singer attended several of the parties and forced Egan into sex, giving him drugs and threatening Egan when he resisted advances. It does not accuse the director of luring Egan into the ring.”
The wire news service reports that it does not typically name plaintiffs in sex abuse suits, but named Egan because when the lawsuit was filed civilly, Egan’s lawyer Herman identified him and said Egan planned to speak publicly.
The lawsuit is reportedly possible in Hawaii because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases, enacted April 24, 2012. That new statute of limitations expires April 24, 2014, two years from the date of the new law, according to HRS 657-1.8.
Herman has reportedly represented plaintiffs in several sex abuse lawsuits, including suits against the Roman Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America. In 2011, Herman reportedly won a $100 million verdict against a Catholic priest who was accused of molesting dozens of boys.
Marty Singer reportedly has represented several Hollywood clients, including actor John Travolta in a series of lawsuits filed by masseurs who accused him of inappropriate conduct during massages.