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In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer was accused of drugging and raping a 17-year-old boy in 1999, according to court documents. The lawsuit alleged that Singer, now 48, "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."
The plaintiff, Michael F. Egan III, is identified both in the lawsuit and via a press release issued by his legal team. He is a Nevada resident who grew up in the Midwest and moved to Los Angeles with his family as a teenager to further his acting career. Egan, now 31, describes himself as heterosexual.
Singer's attorney denied the allegations. "The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit," Martin Singer told E! News in a statement. "We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit. It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan's new movie is about to open in a few weeks."
(Despite sharing the same surname, Bryan Singer and Martin Singer are not related.)
The alleged abuse began in 1998 after Egan was invited to house parties in Encino, Calif., where his high school friend Scott Shackley lived. According to the lawsuit, the house—known as the M & C Estate—was the site of "notorious parties" where adult males allegedly preyed on teenage boys. The lawsuit claims that homeowner Marc Collins-Rector sexually abused Egan and even threatened him with a gun, but does not name him as a defendant. Collins-Rector and his then-roommate, Chad Chackley, were principals of Digital Entertainment Network, an early online streaming video company.
(Collins-Rector was charged in 2002 with transporting five minors across state lines for sex. The former web-casting chairman pled guilty two years later. Collins-Rector, now 54, is a registered sex offender.)
According to the lawsuit, Singer abused Egan at the Paul Mitchell estate in Hawaii. It claims that he supplied the aspiring actor with drugs and alcohol, forced him to inhale cocaine and pushed him into a swimming pool before holding his head underwater. The complaint also alleged that Singer forced Egan to perform oral sex—both in and out of the pool—before he forcibly sodomized the plaintiff.
Singer allegedly combined these actions with threats and promises of employment, per the lawsuit.
"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children," said Egan's attorney, Jeff Herman, per Variety. "This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue." The lawsuit demands an unspecified amount from Singer and asserts claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion.
Herman previously represented the five plaintiffs who accused Sesame Street Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexually abuse. Three of the suits were dismissed due to the statute of limitations running out, though the plaintiffs vowed to appeal. One other plaintiff dropped his complaint, and a fifth plaintiff's suit is currently active. Clash resigned from Sesame Street in 2012, after the second accuser filed suit.
E! News has reached out to reps and attorneys for Singer and Egan.