LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man who claims he was sexually abused by “X-Men” franchise director Bryan Singer said Thursday 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 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.
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’s wrote Thursday. He accused Egan’s attorney of seeking fame by calling a news conference to discuss the lawsuit.
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.