Director Bryan Singer has been formally accused of raping a 17-year-old boy in 2003, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday. The act allegedly happened aboard a yacht in Seattle, which was owned by Lester Waters, a tech investor “who frequently hosted parties for young gay males in the Seattle area,” according to the suit.
The alleged victim is named Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, and he has accused Singer of both forcing him to perform oral sex and have oral sex performed on him, before receiving anal penetration. The suit then alleges that Singer implied he could help Sanchez-Guzman become an actor if he didn’t report the incident. To quote the lawsuit, “he then told Cesar that no one would believe him if he ever reported the incident, and that he could hire people who are capable of ruining someone’s reputation.”
Singer’s representatives immediately denied the allegations, saying the director “categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end.”
Singer has of course been known throughout his career as the director of big budget superhero movies, beginning with the first and second live-action X-Men films and continuing on with more recent entries such as X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. Just days ago he was in the news after being fired from Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody for repeatedly not showing up on set, claiming that the studio refused to give him time off to care for an ailing family member. On Wednesday, the studio named Dexter Fletcher as Singer’s replacement.
Oddly, Sanchez-Guzman is represented by the same Miami attorney, Jeffrey Herman, who represented actor Michael Egan in his own 2014 sexual harassment lawsuit against Singer, which was eventually dropped at Egan’s request. Herman was even made to apologize after a counter-suit for malicious prosecution, saying that Egan’s allegations were “untrue and provably false.” Now he’s representing another client against Singer who is making similar claims—one wonders why Sanchez-Guzman wouldn’t have chosen an attorney without such a muddled history with Singer. Note: Another lawsuit for sexual assault was also filed against Singer in 2014 by an anonymous British man, who claimed that the director had abused him in 2006, but that accusation was also dismissed at the accuser’s request.
Elsewhere, a petition has even been started to remove Singer’s name from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Singer’s (fairly harsh) full statement can be read below:
“Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end. Cesar Sanchez-Guzman apparently claims that he did not remember this alleged incident from 2003 until now. Significantly, when Sanchez-Guzman filed for bankruptcy only a few years ago, he failed to disclose this alleged claim when he was supposed to identify all of his assets, but conveniently, now that the bankruptcy court discharged all of his debts, he is able to recall the alleged events. The attorney behind this lawsuit is the same lawyer who represented Michael Egan, the convicted felon who sued Bryan Singer in 2014. In the end, Egan was forced to dismiss that case once the facts came out and his story completely fell apart. Egan and his attorneys then found themselves as defendants in a malicious prosecution action brought by some of the individuals who Egan previously sued. In an apology to those individuals, Egan’s attorney acknowledged the claims that had been filed were ‘untrue and provably false.’ Notwithstanding his track record, this same lawyer is coming after Bryan again. We are confident that this case will turn out the same way the Egan case did. And once Bryan prevails, he will pursue his own claims for malicious prosecution.”