Bryan Singer Photo: Dick Thomas Johnson
X-Men and The Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer has issued a statement denying accusations of rape made in a lawsuit that was filed in Washington State yesterday and subsequently obtained by Deadline.
The lawsuit alleges that in 2003, a 17 year old youth was lured into a room aboard a yacht where a party was taking place, and that the director then raped him. Although the age of consent in Washington State is 16, an additional penalty applies where a person under the age of 18 is compelled to engage in sexual activity by force or the threat of force. It is also alleged that Singer used his status in Hollywood to threaten the youth and told him that he could hire people who knew how to ruin reputations.
Singer was accused of sexual assault in 2014 by actor Michael Egan. The case collapsed after Egan admitted to making false allegations against two other Hollywood figures. Singer's representatives have noted that the same lawyer was involved in that case and the current one, and have suggested that there is a financial motive behind the new accusations.
Earlier this week, Singer was fired from Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, to be replaced by Dexter Fletcher. He said in a statement that he had asked Fox for time off due to health problems affecting one of his parents, which the studio was not willing to accommodate, and he denied reports that creative differences had led to a breakdown of his working relationship wth Rami Malek, who is portraying the late Queen singer.