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X-Men director Bryan Singer faces allegations that he sexually abused a 15 year old boy in a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday. The suit alleges that Singer forcibly sodomized Michael Egan (now in his 30s), when he was 15 and that they had numerous sexual encounters over the next two years. The suit describes parties at a California mansion where drugs and liquor were used to take advantage of young boys sexually.
The lawsuit is quite graphic in describing the main incident, stating that Singer plied the plaintiff drugs and alcohol in order to allegedly sexually and psychologically abuse Egan.
“…an alcoholic beverage . . . and mentioned finding a role for him in an upcoming movie that he was directing.. Defendant Singer solicited plaintiff to perform oral sex upon him, which plaintiff resisted…Singer flagrantly disregarded plaintiff’s unwillingness to submit, and forced plaintiff’s head underwater to make plaintiff perform oral sex upon him. When plaintiff pulled his head out of the water in order to breathe, defendant Singer demanded that he continue which plaintiff refused…Defendant Singer then forced plaintiff to continue performing oral sex upon him outside of the pool, and subsequently forcibly sodomized plaintiff.”
A lawyer for Singer issued a statement which states in part,
“The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit… We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit.”
Egan’s lawyer is Jeff Herman, known for bringing suit against Elmo puppeteer, Kevin Clash. He stated,
“Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children…This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue.”
While Singer has not been directly accused of abuse of a minor before, there were allegations of inappropriate handling of minor actors’ nudity on the set of Singer’s film, Apt Pupil, wherein three young actors were allegedly told to disrobe completely for a scene without warning. The actors’ families brought a lawsuit against the production company that was later settled. It’s important to note that the LAPD was made aware of the accusations back in 1999, as per Variety’s article.
While this suit has not yet gone to court it is just the latest in a long line of tales of Hollywood star-makers leveraging their power over young people to exploit them sexually and emotionally. Going back to the Roman Polanski incident in the 70s, it seems that the casting couch has become even more insidious for minors. Drugs, liquor and promises of fame are used to oppress and abuse these children and youths when they are far from willing participants.
For years there have been whispers that a certain Nickelodeon mega hit producer has allegedly sexually victimized many of the stars of his shows. Power corrupts, but it seems if even a fraction of the stories that slip out are true, the people in power in Hollywood were probably pretty damn corrupt when they got to power. Not helping the abusive culture are many of the stage parents who seem more than willing to whore their children out to ride the fame they may get in return.
Also disturbing is the naming of Marc Collins-Rector, former chairman of the Digital Entertainment Network, in the Singer suit as well. Collins-Rector has been convicted of sexual crimes against minors in the past according to Variety. Even if Singer is cleared of the accusations there is some level of guilt by association that has to be questioned. Who knows that these go on? Everyone? If so, those who don’t stop them are just as guilty as the perpetrators themselves.
Let it be noted, that a handful of folks in Hollywood are referring to these most recent accusations of abuse as nothing more than a “shakedown“. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
What are your thoughts? Innocent until proven guilty? Or is Hollywood (and everyone involved, past and present) merely sweeping sexual abuse under the red carpet once again?