The allegations against Bryan Singer have continued to mutate, to reference a movie franchise that is having difficulty being talked about right now, with ramifications expanding rapidly since the moment Singer was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a then-17-year-old boy. In the past few days, Singer’s accuser, Michael Egan, has filed three similar lawsuits against Garth Ancier, a veteran TV programmer at NBC, Fox, Disney, The WB, and The CW; theater producer Gary Wayne Goddard; and former Disney executive David Neuman. Like Singer, those men have denied the charges, with attorneys for both Singer and Ancier arguing they have demonstrable evidence that their clients were not at the Hawaii estate where Egan says many of the assaults took place.
Nevertheless (and not unexpectedly), the accusations have still had consequences for Singer. Earlier this week came the news that a forthcoming documentary from Amy Berg on sex abuse in Hollywood—a film Berg has been working on for two years—will likely include Egan’s story, possibly implicating Singer. Meanwhile, ABC pulled promos for its new series Black Box that touted Singer as its executive producer. And the director canceled an appearance at WonderCon, where he was scheduled to do interviews to promote X-Men: Days Of Future Past, with screenwriter Simon Kinberg serving in his stead.
Now, in a newly released statement, Singer has confirmed that he won’t be doing any press or promotional work for the film at all, while he deals with what he terms a “sick, twisted shake down.” Singer’s statement in full:
“The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false. I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men: Days Of Future Past. This fantastic film is a labor of love and one of the greatest experiences of my career. So, out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I’ve decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film. However, I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shake down it is. I want to thank fans, friends and family for all their amazing and overwhelming support.”
Singer’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, recently released his own detailed refutation of the charges, in which he also called Egan’s suit a “shakedown,” saying, “It’s all about money.” Still, he took pains to say he was not “attacking [Egan] personally,” but instead focused on Egan’s lawyer, Jeff Herman, accusing him of “reckless and outrageous conduct.”
Herman has also been in the news this week for his similar lawsuits against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, three of which were just tossed out for a second time by an appellate court. Herman’s original lawsuit against Clash is still pending.