Man says reports of abuse by 'X-Men' director not pursued; claims called 'fabricated'
Plaintiff Michael Egan, left, with his attorney, Jeff Herman take questions from to the media during a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Anthony McCartney and Oskar Garcia, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, April 17, 2014 6:34AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 18, 2014 8:07AM EDT
LOS ANGELES -- A man who claims he was sexually abused by "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer said that he reported the molestation to authorities at the time, and he does not know why charges were never pursued.
With his voice occasionally wavering, Michael Egan III on Thursday described abuse he said began when he was 15 years old at the hands of Singer and others. He told of being plied with drugs and promises of Hollywood fame while also enduring threats and sexual abuse in Hawaii and Los Angeles over several years.
"You were a piece of meat," Egan said of how he and other teenage boys were viewed at the home where he claims Singer abused him.
Singer's attorney Marty Singer wrote in a statement after Egan's remarks that the accusations were "completely fabricated."
Egan sued Singer in Hawaii on Wednesday and is seeking more than $75,000 on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.
Egan and his attorney said at a news conference that the alleged abuse was reported by Egan's mother to the FBI and Los Angeles police and that interviews were conducted. The lawyer, Jeff Herman, later said he was not sure if his client spoke to police detectives or if the case was referred directly to the FBI. He said Egan did not report any abuse to Hawaiian authorities.
Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said the department is looking into whether a report was made. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the agency could not comment on what Egan reported unless it resulted in a case or matter of public record.
"However, the suggestion that the FBI ignored a minor victim, or evidence involving the sexual victimization of a child, is ludicrous," Eimiller said. "The FBI vigorously pursues all allegations involving the sexual abuse of minors and pursues prosecution when evidence of such crimes is brought to its attention."
Singer's attorney has called the lawsuit's claims absurd and defamatory.
"We look forward to our bringing a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr. Egan and his attorney after we prevail," Marty Singer wrote Thursday. He accused Egan's attorney of seeking fame by calling a news conference to discuss the lawsuit.
"It is obvious that plaintiff's attorney is not looking to litigate the case on its merits," Marty Singer, who is not related to Bryan Singer, wrote.
Singer is the director of the upcoming film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and directed previous films in the franchise, as well as the thriller "The Usual Suspects."
"These are serious allegations, and they will be resolved in the appropriate forum," 20th Century Fox, the distributor of Singer's latest film, wrote in a statement. "This is a personal matter, which Bryan Singer and his representatives are addressing separately."
The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse, but it is naming Egan because he is speaking publicly about his allegations.
The lawsuit was filed in Hawaii, and is possible because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex-abuse cases. Herman said Thursday that he planned to file additional lawsuits in Hawaii against other Hollywood figures he said were responsible for abusing underage teenagers. The attorney would not say who else he planned to sue.
The lawsuit claims Egan was lured into a sex ring run by a former digital entertainment company executive, Marc Collins-Rector, with promises of auditions for acting, modeling and commercial jobs. He was put on the company's payroll as an actor, but forced to have sex with adult men at parties within Hollywood's entertainment industry, the lawsuit said.
Collins-Rector pleaded guilty in 2004 to transporting five minors across state lines to have sex with them.
Phone numbers listed for Collins-Rector have been disconnected and attempts to reach him for comment Thursday failed. Records maintained in Florida, where Collins-Rector is required to register as a sex offender, show that in 2008 his last known address was in the Dominican Republic.
Bryan Singer attended several of the parties and forced Egan into sex, giving him drugs and threatening Egan when he resisted advances, the lawsuit states.
Egan said he spent several years masking his pain by drinking. He stopped drinking within the last year, entered therapy and sought out a lawyer who would pursue a case against the director.
"I hope to help a lot of other people," Egan said. "No one at a young age ever deserves to go through the horrific junk I went through as a kid."
Los Angeles court records show that Michael Egan and two other men sued Collins-Rector in 2000 and were granted a default judgment the following year. The case file was not available Thursday.
Egan could not explain why his attorney at the time didn't include Singer in that case.
Herman has made a career of representing victims of sex abuse, filing lawsuits against organizations such as the Roman Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America. In 2011, Herman won a $100 million verdict against a Catholic priest who was accused of molesting dozens of boys.