By Vicki Hyman/The Star-Ledger
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer, who is being sued for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old in the late 1990s, announced he would bow out of the media campaign for the expected summer blockbuster because he doesn’t want to divert attention from the film.
But in a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter, he called the lawsuit, filed by 31-year-old Michael Egan, a “sick twisted shakedown,” and Egan’s allegations of forced oral and anal sex “outrageous, vicious and completely false.”
Egan says the director, a New Jersey native who grew up in West Windsor, “manipulated his power, wealth, and position in the entertainment industry to sexually abuse and exploit the underage Plaintiff through the use of drugs, alcohol, threats, and inducements which resulted in Plaintiff suffering catastrophic psychological and emotional injuries.”
The lawsuit spins a sordid tale of sex parties in which older, powerful men preyed on young wanna-bes, and Egan’s lawyer filed three more lawsuits earlier this week, naming Garth Ancier (creator of “The Ricki Lake Show” and producer of the TV shows “21 Jump Street,” “The Simpsons,” “Married … with Children” and “In Living Color”); David Neuman (the former president of Disney TV); and Gary Goddard (a producer of off-Broadway shows). The three men have all denied Egan’s charges via their lawyers, with Goddard’s lawyer telling TMZ.com that the claims “so fantastical as to be unbelievable on their face.”
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” brings together the heroes of the first three “X-Men” movies (Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, among them) with their younger selves (well, McKellen and Stewart’s younger selves, at least, played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively). It comes out May 23.