(Photo: Getty Images, Frederick M. Brown)

Earlier today, we reported that 20th Century Fox had fired director Bryan Singer from Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after he essentially stopped showing up to the set, with other reports saying that he had clashed with star Rami Malek and that he was suffering from “post-traumatic stress disorder” over tensions on the set of the film. Now, Singer has released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that tells his side of the story, explaining that he had been absent from set because he needed to help an ill family member. He claims that he did ask Fox for some time off, but he says the studio simply fired him rather than let him go take care of his sick parent.

He also denied that things were bad between him and Malek, noting that the two of them did have “creative difference” at one point, but they had moved past them and were working well together prior to breaking for Thanksgiving.

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Here’s his full statement:

Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine. With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services. This was not my decision and it was beyond my control.

Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true. While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving. I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first.

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