Judge sets hearing in ‘X-Men’ director abuse case
HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge in Hawaii on Thursday set a July 7 hearing on a motion by “X-Men” franchise director Bryan Singer to dismiss a sexual abuse lawsuit from a man who claims he was raped as a 17-year-old.
U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway set the hearing one day after Singer’s lawyers moved to throw out the lawsuit, claiming the accusations are false and fabricated. It also comes one day before the latest film in the blockbuster franchise, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” premieres in theaters across the United States on Friday. Singer directed the feature.
A former child model, Michael Egan III, is accusing Singer of abusing him several times during trips to Hawaii in 1999. Egan also accuses Singer of abusing him earlier in California as part of a Hollywood sex ring run by another man convicted of luring minors across state lines for sex.
As part of his motion, Singer filed a signed declaration saying he was never in Hawaii during the time Egan claimed in the lawsuit and didn’t have sexual contact with him. Singer said he was working on pre-production and shooting the first “X-Men” film in the Toronto area during the time Egan claimed the abuses occurred, and never went to Hawaii during the three-month span.
“Except for a short trip to visit friends in New England in August 1999 and a trip to Los Angeles for a few days in September 1999 to attend to business matters association with the picture, I was in Canada during the entire three-month period between August 1, 1999 and October 31, 1999,” Singer said.
In the motion, Singer’s lawyers say documents and Egan’s testimony from a previous case show neither Singer nor Egan were in Hawaii.
Egan maintains he was in Hawaii with Singer and his mother maintains she authorized at least two of Egan’s trips, Egan’s lawyer Jeff Herman said in a statement.
Herman declined comment on Egan’s previous testimony and Singer’s assertion he was never in Hawaii.
“At the appropriate time and in the appropriate venue, we will respond,” Herman said.
The Hawaii allegations are key to the case because of a state law that opened a window for victims of child abuse to come forward with civil lawsuits on cases that previously passed the statute of limitations. Egan’s lawsuit was filed just before that window closed.
The Associated Press does not normally name victims of sexual abuse, but is naming Egan because he is speaking publicly about his allegations.
Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia