The accuser in the sexual abuse case against director Bryan Singer has dropped his lawsuit, according to the Associated Press, reportedly after being unable to find another lawyer who would represent him. Michael Egan filed his charges in April with the help of Jeff Herman—the same attorney who’d spearheaded similar cases against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, similarly to no avail—and had originally pledged that the suit involving Singer was just “the first of many cases” he planned to champion against what he termed Hollywood’s “sordid sex ring.”
Herman withdrew as Egan’s lawyer earlier this month, saying that their attorney-client relationship had deteriorated. Prior to that, reports emerged that Singer’s representatives had considered an offer to settle the case out of court for $100,000—a settlement that Egan refused. According to representatives for Singer, that settlement was proposed by Egan’s own former lawyers. In a statement Singer’s attorneys made to Variety, they said that Egan’s representatives’ “willingness to resolve it for such a relatively low figure demonstrates their total lack of confidence in their chances for success. This was their way of trying to save face after an unsuccessful attempted shakedown of Bryan Singer.”
Egan had already voluntarily dropped his lawsuits against three other men he alleged to have taken part in his sexual abuse: Masters Of The Universe director Garry Goddard and TV executives David Neuman and Garth Ancier. These cases seemed to fall apart after a deposition Egan gave in 2003 came to light, in which he swore that he’d never taken any trips to Hawaii whatsoever, let alone one in which he was abused by Singer or others. In that same testimony, Egan also swore that David Neuman had never sexually assaulted or so much as “acted improperly” toward him, leading the Los Angeles Times to speculate that this had prompted Herman to remove himself from representing Egan. (Meanwhile, Ancier has filed his own lawsuit against Jeff Herman for malicious prosecution.)
“We’re pleased that it’s over,” Singer’s lawyer Marty Singer said in a statement regarding Egan’s withdrawl. “Although we would have liked the case dismissed on merits, the fact that now it’s dropped... is satisfactory.”
Singer’s second accuser, a young British actor identified only as “John Doe 117,” also withdrew his case with prejudice at the end of July (though his suit against Gary Goddard remains active). Still, in addition to having the stigma of these allegations attached to him for so many months, Singer still faces the chance that Egan’s charges, at least, could reappear. Egan’s request to dismiss the case was granted without prejudice, meaning Egan has the option of filing the charges again in the future.
Although he currently has no legal representation, Vince Finaldi, an attorney who’s said to be “advising” Egan, certainly hinted that this could happen. “”I’ve got to leave a little bit of cliff-hanger here,” Finaldi told the AP—though it’s not clear why he thinks this story needs any more suspense.
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