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 Local

Springfield Fire Captain Arrested for Wielding Gun

gun

The Menard County Sheriff's office says a Springfield Fire Department captain has been arrested for carrying a shotgun into a rural Athens home and threatening residents.

in Local

State Attorney General Warns Against Immigration Scammers

immigration reform

Lisa Madigan's office warns those applying for deportation relief to be on the lookout for scammers posing as Notarios.

in Local

Cullerton Helps Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

Tom Cullerton

HJR 91 helps returning veterans transition back to civilian life.

in Local

New Lincoln Exhibit Opens Today at Presidental Museum & Library

Lincoln Presidential Museum

New exhibit celebrates 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death and 10th anniversary of ALPLM.

in Local

Court Date Set to Determine State Retiree Healthcare Refunds

state_capitol_3

The state will refund money to about 75,000 state retirees who've been paying a portion of their pensions for health insurance.