News & Opinion


Exclusive: X-Men director Bryan Singer faces new teen sex assault lawsuit

The Daily Beast

May 4, 2014

Bryan Singer, director of “X-Men” and other Hollywood blockbusters, has been hit by another legal suit alleging he sexually assaulted a minor, The Daily Beast can reveal.

Singer was already accused by the lawyer for Michael Egan, 31, of allegedly sexually assaulting and physically abusing Egan in a series of incidents in Hawaii and California as a teenager.

The new lawsuit filed by Egan’s attorney, Jeff Herman, alleges that Singer and Broadway producer Gary Goddard sexually assaulted a British teenager. He is known in the lawsuit as “John Doe No. 117,” fearing “further psychological injury” if his name is disclosed.

Attorneys for Goddard and Singer have previously strenuously denied all earlier charges against their clients. Bryan Singer himself claimed he was the victim of a “sick, twisted shakedown.” His attorney said the new charges were “completely false.”

According to the lawsuit, which Herman intends to officially announce Monday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles at 2 p.m., Goddard first contacted the teenager via social media when he was 14. The producer allegedly told the young man he was good-looking, and that he knew people in London and Hollywood who could help him get work in his acting career. One of those people, Goddard allegedly added, was Singer.

When the teenager was 14 or 15, the suit contends, Goddard communicated that he loved John Doe. According to the lawsuit, he also “convinced” the boy to send him nude photographs of himself, video of him masturbating, and participated in a webcam session where both were nude and Goddard was masturbating. Later, when the boy was 15 or 16, Goddard insisted he strip and they lay on a bed naked and kissed, the suit alleges. On another occasion he allegedly “plied” the teenager with alcohol and “engaged him in anal intercourse,” according to the court filing.

When the teenager was 17, the suit alleges, Goddard told the teenager he and Singer were coming to London for a Superman movie premiere. At the after-party, the suit alleges that Singer offered the teenager a Quaalude, which the teenager rejected, according to the suit. In the bedroom of the hotel suite, where an “after” after-party was being held, Singer and Goddard, the suit says, “starting grabbing John Doe in a sexual manner.” The teenager asked the men to stop. Goddard allegedly returned to the room with a “large, musclebound man” who began to smack the teenager around, according to the complaint.

When Singer removed his boxer shorts, the suit alleges, the teenager said, “I do not want to do that.” According to the complaint, Singer told the teenager to sit on top of him and masturbate, that he wanted to the teenager to ejaculate on him. Singer attempted to anally penetrate the teenager. The next morning, according to the complaint, Singer contacted the teenager to apologize.

The teenager, the suit contends, “only recently became cognizant that he has suffered psychological and emotional injuries, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the Defendants’ sexual acts. Such injuries are severe, continuing, and permanent.”

The suit contends that Singer violated the law by sexually assaulting the teenager, traveling to a foreign country for “illicit conduct with a minor,” that he had arranged to “meet with a minor to engage in lewd and lascivious behavior,” and that by allegedly coercing the teenager in the way he did, Singer committed an act of “gender violence” against him.

The lawsuit cites the U.S. age of consent of 18, rather than the British, which, for gay men, was 21 until 1994, when it became 18; and then 16—equalized, after much campaigning by gay rights activists, with the heterosexual age of consent—in 2001. The lawsuit does not make clear the year or years the alleged offenses took place. A spokeswoman for Herman declined on Sunday to clarify this.

Goddard violated the law, the suit contends, by traveling to a foreign country for illicit conduct with a minor, and encouraging him to participate in sexual conduct with a view to “visually depicting” it. The nature of the harm allegedly caused by Goddard was “subtle, imperceptible and pernicious.” According to the complaint, Goddard is also alleged to have met a minor for sex and to have colluded with Singer in an act of “gender violence” against the teenager in the hotel room.

Marty Singer, the lawyer for Bryan Singer, told The Daily Beast the allegations contained in the latest lawsuit were “totally untrue.”

“After the substance of Mr. Herman’s previous defamatory and fabricated filing in Hawaii was disproved based on unassailable evidence, Mr. Herman’s desperation has led him to fabricate these new anonymous accusations against Mr. Singer, which we will also prove to be completely false,” Marty Singer said.

“It is time for the media and public to focus their attention on Mr. Herman’s nefarious motives and tactics which seem to be driven solely by his ‎need to shake down an innocent man like Bryan Singer. We intend to seek sanctions against Mr. Herman for his ‎reckless, unethical behavior,” the attorney added.

In an email, Alan Grodin, lawyer for Goddard, told The Daily Beast: “It is a shame that the specious claim made by Herman in the Egan case has resulted in this new claim that we note is over 10 years old.” Grodin said he and Goddard would fully respond to the latest suit when they had properly assessed it. “For now we will say the claims are denied and Gary will vigorously defend.”