The director of the upcoming "X-Men" film has denied allegations contained in a lawsuit that he raped an aspiring actor and model in 1999 and called the claims a shakedown.
Bryan Singer wrote in a statement released Thursday that he was avoiding promotional events for his upcoming film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" to avoid distracting from the movie and the work of its actors and crew.
"The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false," Singer wrote. "I do not want these fictitious claims to divert any attention from 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.' "
The statement was released a week after Singer was sued in Hawaii by Michael Egan III, a former aspiring model and actor, who claims the director sexually abused him during a trip in Hawaii in 1999. Egan has said Singer abused him when he was as young as 15 years old at a home in Los Angeles, but his case only focused on the alleged abuse in Hawaii.
Singer's attorney Marty Singer has said the director wasn't in Hawaii when Egan claims he was abused.
"I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shakedown it is," Bryan Singer wrote in his statement.
Egan's attorney Jeff Herman said Singer's denials would not affect his pursuit of the case. "We have a good-faith belief in the allegations, and we will litigate this," Herman said.
Egan has also sued three other entertainment industry figures — two former television executives and a theater producer — for substantially similar claims.
"None of the defendants in Michael Egan's cases have admitted to abusing him," Herman said. "I've gotten other threats from the other lawyers, which I find interesting. I'm not deterred from bringing these cases forward."
The lawsuits were filed in Hawaii under a law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in civil sex-abuse cases. None of the men has been criminally charged, and the statute of limitations for any such charges has passed.
In order to file the cases, Egan had to be evaluated by a psychologist who signed a notarized "Certificate of Merit" that includes facts and opinions supporting an opinion that he was sexually abused and had a psychological or physical injury. The certificate detailing Egan's allegations against Singer has been filed under seal.
Egan claims he was lured into a sex ring run by a former digital entertainment company executive with promises of auditions for acting, modeling and commercial jobs. He was put on the company's payroll as an actor and forced to have sex with adult men at parties within Hollywood's entertainment industry, he says.
The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse, but it is naming Egan because he is speaking publicly about his allegations.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP