Director Bryan Singer, who was recently fired from directing the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, was sued on Thursday for reportedly raping a minor on a yacht off Seattle in 2003.
According to Variety, 17-year-old Cesar Sanchez-Guzman claims that Singer forced him to perform fellatio, after which the director forcefully performed oral sex on him and anally penetrated him.
According to the lawsuit, Singer later approached the alleged victim to tell him that Singer could help him land an acting role if Sanchez-Guzman did not mention the incident to anyone. Singer also reportedly told Sanchez-Guzman that no one would believe a report on the incident, and threatened him with "people who are capable of ruining someone's reputation".
The yacht was owned by Lester Waters, an affluent tech investor "who frequently hosted parties for young gay males in the Seattle area", the suit alleged.
Miami attorney Jeffrey Herman is representing Sanchez-Guzman. In 2014, Herman represented Michael Egan in his lawsuit against Singer, television producer Garth Ancier and former Disney executive David Neuman. This lawsuit was eventually dropped, with Herman apologising to Ancier and Neuman, who filed a suit for malicious prosecution. Herman later revealed that the allegations detailed in Egan's initial lawsuit were "provably false".
The following is Singer's full statement on the accusation:
"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."
In other news, Fox has named Dexter Fletcher as Singer's replacement for the Queen biopic, which is set to resume shooting in London next week.