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Bryan Singer Plot Thickens as New Lawsuit Alleges Even Deeper History of Sexual Abuse (UPDATED)

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by Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
May 5, 2014 1:20 PM
17 Comments
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Illustration courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

UPDATED: The Bryan Singer case continues to shake out. An anonymous UK citizen has lodged a new claim against Singer and Goddard Group CEO Gary Goddard alleging underage sexual abuse. He is represented by Jeff Herman, the same attorney who filed Michael Egan's recent suit against the "X-Men" director less than two weeks ago. The details of the new case, below, are seedy.

The suit alleges that in 2003, Goddard initiated nude web cams sessions with the plaintiff, 15 at the time. Nude photos were exchanged. According to the claimant, dubbed John Doe No. 117, Goddard got him drunk and had sex with him in a London hotel when he was 16, which is the age of consent in England. But the suit argues that California's age of consent, 18, also the federal age, applies here because Singer and Goddard initiated relations with the teen online while in California.

The plaintiff, then 17, also claims that Singer had sex with him at a "Superman Returns" after-party in Summer 2006. Allegedly the boy resisted Singer's advances, so Goddard brought in a "large, musclebound man" who roughed-up the teen before Singer attempted to rape him as Goddard, naked, watched.

According to the suit, filed Saturday in LA, the plaintiff pleads anonymity because "this case involves facts of the utmost intimacy regarding plaintiff's childhood sexual abuse, and plaintiff fears further psychological injury if his name were publicly disclosed."

Goddard's attorney Alan Grodin attributes these allegations as a kind of hive-minded hysteria, responding, "It is a shame that the specious claim made by Herman in the Egan case has resulted in this new claim that we note is over 10 years old. For now we will say the claims are denied and Gary will vigorously defend."

You can't make this stuff up. Or can you? Singer has yet to be served either suit.

EARLIER: Stories have long swirled around Bryan Singer about his taste in young men and erratic behavior on movie sets. Following production of the 1998 drama "Apt Pupil," civil suits were filed by underage extras who were forced to endure lengthy naked shower scenes --the cases were thrown out--and there were rumors about heavy partying with teenage boys.

And Singer has long endured a reputation for going AWOL during filming, especially during production on the 2006 reboot "Superman Returns." Ask ex-Warner Bros. chief Jeff Robinov what he thinks of working with Singer, who contributed to budget overruns that cost the studio profits. The studio did not plan for that iteration of the DC franchise to end there. It took years to redevelop another "Superman" movie: Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" finally came out in 2013.

Word is that producer/writer Simon Kinberg helped to "enable" Singer to do his job on the upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (May 23) much the way producer Chris Lee ("Apt Pupil," "Superman Returns") did on other films. Kinberg has filled in on the promo trail for Singer, who has withdrawn from PR so as not to provide a distraction. Singer denies the sex abuse allegations.

The reason the recent case against Singer and three other Hollywood executives accused of drugging and raping teenage boys hinges on their presence in Hawaii --which they are all denying--is that in that state the statute of limitations has not yet run out. 

Kim Masters in the Hollywood Reporter has rounded up more pertinent details about the past history of various allegations and lawsuits involving these principals. 

Here's one telling graph: 

Singer at times has been known to be troubled: Executives who have worked on his movies say the director was sometimes erratic, often complaining he was in pain, at times appearing "heavily medicated" and sometimes failing to appear on set. But it seems only on Singer's 2006 Warner Bros. film Superman Returns did these issues contribute to budget overages. There were widespread rumors that Singer's partying was part of the problem, but a friend who visited the set says that was not the issue. "There were times that production was interrupted or delayed," says this person, but the problem was Singer "battling his own demons" with respect to medication.

Read it and weep. Many Hollywood insiders believe that there is even more widespread abuse of vulnerable young actors by powerful industry players yet to be uncovered. Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Berg ('Deliver Us from Evil")  is tracking this unraveling story for an in-the-works documentary feature. 

17 Comments

  • jeff | May 6, 2014 6:37 AMReply

    here's the bottom line end-game: singer will keep making movies and you all will keep writing your internet blogs. just call me Wizard Future-Teller.

  • Arion | May 5, 2014 11:46 PMReply

    When Singer was sued on April 17th, I was shocked. At first I had no doubts about his innocence but now I'm not so sure. I've been doing some reasearch about this and you can read about it here:

    artbyarion dot blogspot dot com

  • Joe H. | May 5, 2014 10:31 PMReply

    Not even circumstantial evidence at this point, just one man's word against the other. Hardly a basis for a documentary. Not until actual evidence surfaces.

  • Jim | May 6, 2014 11:43 AM

    Agreed. Until there is actual evidence I can't believe this story.

  • Lewis | May 3, 2014 2:35 AMReply

    You know nothing about nothing. I know Bryan. He is a gentleman and kind to all. He is not erratic. He has turned in more hits than misses. You try directing a 250,000,000 million dollar film. So he is a gay man who lives like Hugh Hefner. It doesn't mean he is guilty. I think because he is a gay man who lives his life as shamelessly as Hefner people are freaked out. As a gay man, you should still thank people for letting you exist apparently. As for being a man who has helped the movement. He has given more to the Human Rights Campaign, the LA gay and lesbian center and the effort against prop 8 than any individual I know. He has spent a lot of money bringing water to villages in Africa so people can live and thrive. He has started more careers in Hollywood than anyone. He's a good man. Why don't you check out a Michael Egan and his Mother's track record of suing people for a living. Of wait, I forgot, that's not as salacious as taking down a gay man.

  • Rob | May 1, 2014 10:38 AMReply

    I have friends who work at the former Alliance Atlantis and told me stories of Singer's colorful reputation. However, it was just gossip. And without proof, it remains gossip. And, unfortunately, because Singer is gay and gossip is like a drug these days, people are willing to accept gossip as a reality. The society we live in does not allow anymore for innocent until proven guilty, not at least in the celebrity-obsessed public's eye.

  • grayzip | May 2, 2014 12:33 PM

    I'm gay in LA and have seen firsthand Singer's predilections at work. He's innocent until proven guilty of actual child molestation, but using your position in Hollywood -- and drugs -- to pressure an endless succession of eighteen year-olds into your bed is past a certain point is cause enough for most people to not want anything to do with him, and that very much goes for the moviegoing public too.

    Some of the discourse on Singer is shot through with homophobia both above and below the "comments" line. The flip side of that though is that a gay man as high profile as Singer can also set the cause back significantly by actually embodying precisely the horrifying qualities the anti-gay forces love to warn people about. It's not his responsibility to be a shining example of anything, but that doesn't mean I can't lament the damage such an irresponsible monster like him can wreak on a movement lots of far more substantial gay men are working tirelessly to further

  • m | May 1, 2014 3:40 AMReply

    Liking pretty young men and having struggled through substance abuse does not make one a confirmed rapist. It's all speculation until there is even a tiny iota of evidence. If he did do it, he should be flogged to death. If he didn't do it, his name has already been flogged to death and he won't ever really recover from a character standpoint or in the public eye. For that, his accuser should be flogged to death. Speculating and jumping on either one of their bandwagons at this point is childish and premature.

  • Big Mac | May 30, 2014 1:33 AM

    While it is true he is innocent until proven guilty, the fact new victims are starting to come forward strongly suggest this story has legs. Frankly, I don't find this surprising at all given what I have read about his party lifestyle and well documented erratic behavior and apparent fondness for "young men" over the years. Some of you can spin this thing all you want but as we all know, often where there is smoke, there is fire.

    I doubt the mother of this guy would have been so passionate in her pleas to the FBI back in the day and calling them out now for their lack of any investigation and action if she didn't have very good reason to do so. I also think these type of parties and behavior (ser Collins-Rector, Shackley Goddard, and now maybe Singer) is far more common and widespread in Hollywood then most know or are willing to admit.

    It is sad that people with money and power think too often they are above the law and can.use their position and power to exploit others and avoid the law. If this turns out to be true, shame on the LA DA, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies that have failed to investigate and take seriously the multiple allegations that have apparently come from multiple sources or victims over the years. If we can't depend on law enforcement to protect children and enforce the law when such sad and disgusting allegations surface. what does that say about where we are at as a society?

  • Andoni | May 1, 2014 10:18 AM

    I couldn't agree with you more.

  • Guy | April 30, 2014 9:34 PMReply

    What a joke. The civil case was thrown out! Nobody settled and they've admitted they were out for money. And Superman Returns was not overrun by Singers parties it were his demand of growing crops for a flashback, setting production back 6 months, and using pricey CGI only to cut the scene(the deleted Scene "Return From Krypton" cost 3.5-5 million. You can see it on YouTube) even though he knew and everyone knew the film was too long. Warner Bros had to agree to certain demands otherwise Singer would've made X3. What I don't get is this "everyone knows Bryan Singer liked young boys" so it took how many films and how many years for someone to come forward? Please! In this town? And the "pain" business relates to an X-Men 2 story where Singer got into a fight with Halle Berry and Alan Cumming. Tom Desanto had given Singer something to help with back pain and it was too strong. It was reported widely that the X2 set was not a happy place but look at the people who work with Singer from one film to the next, that doesn't happen if you are some pedophile. John Ottman, Thomas Sigel, Kevin Spacey, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Jackman. None of these people thought Singer needs to be outed as some drugged up pedophile? Come on. This is ridiculous. People are combining various stories and because he's Gay Singer doesn't get the benefit of the doubt. Oh and all these journalists heard these stories and did nothing? Puh-leeze

  • Jimmy Saville... | April 30, 2014 10:23 PM

    Jimmy Saville raped hundreds upon hundreds of children, and the BBC did nothing. Looked the other way. The US military has looked the other way on hundreds upon hundreds of rapes. Certain colleges have looked the other way on a lot of rapes, as have the Boy Scouts, The Catholic Church, certain Baptist churches, certain high school football teams, certain police departments, etc. etc, etc... But Hollywood studios? NEVER!!!
    "Singer from one film to the next, that doesn't happen if you are some pedophile."

    Except, Jason James was a registered sex offender who worked on one film to the next with children. Brian Peck was also a registered sex offender who is still working on one film to the next with children. They also have both seemed to work with Bryan Singer too on a few projects as well, so...

  • Ellsworth | April 30, 2014 6:19 PMReply

    I can't speak for these allegations because I wasn't there, but I can speak of my own experiences. I've been to many of Bryan's parties (as well as those he has thrown with Roland Emmerich) and they are definitely debaucherous, filled with beautiful guys, and drug use takes place. I have to admit, they are fun to go to every once in a while. He definitely always has a young boy around him .. usually a cluster ... And that is all I can say. If he hasn't abused young boys, his lifestyle, from what I have observed, does not help his case. It doesn't look good .. but then it doesn't really prove anything either. There are a lot of older, powerful gay men in Hollywood who like young guys, but that is not anything new. Nor is that illegal. I guess the question is are these boys underage? Very sad if true ...

  • Mr. Hollywood | April 30, 2014 5:56 PMReply

    Bryan Singer turns my stomach. Why does a man with so much baggage continue to get jobs with his history? There are many directors who are pros, who treat people well, who come to the set ready to work, who do not throw tantrums, who don't troll for young boys. Stop enabling this scumbag ... throw him out of the business so he can devote all of his energy to being a full time sick pervert!

  • equipmentguy | May 1, 2014 12:44 PM

    Bryan Singer will continue to work as a director in Hollywood as long as his big blockbuster films do great business at the box-office. If he stays out of jail on these charges he will continue to get these big directing jobs as long as his films make money. That is all the studios worry about PERIOD. And no, not every director can direct these monster budget summer blockbusters. I've worked on a few of these big budget projects and the wheels can fall off quick with the wrong director or the director who can't handle the enormous job/work flow of these big pictures.

  • Mr. Hollywood | April 30, 2014 8:59 PM

    Probably is the ONLY way he gets jobs ...

  • Hello | April 30, 2014 8:38 PM

    Maybe he gets jobs (no pun intended) by making sure studio execs have a good time at parties

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