Movie director Bryan Singer has been accused of sexual misconduct by four men. The allegations appear in a lengthy feature in The Atlantic.
Reporters Alex French and Maximillian Potter interviewed dozens of individuals over the course of a year.
They detail the experiences of four men who have come forward for the first time to make allegations. The reporters say they cross-referenced the men’s accounts with other people present at a number of movie sets, parties and other locations.
Singer has been dogged by rumors of sexual misconduct over a number of years. These have begun to gain traction since the #MeToo movement following the revelations around former Miramax boss, Harvey Weinstein.
‘There’s a bunch of us,’ says one man quoted in the article. ‘It’s like, “You were one of Singer’s boys? Me too.”’
Each of the men says they were underage when the incidents took place. One, Victor Valdovinos, was 13 years old in 1997 when singer shot the movie, Apt Pupil.
Valdovinos says he spent much of a day on set sat wearing nothing but a towel waiting to shoot a locker room scene. Singer, he alleges, passed by to see him several times during the day, touching his chest and making small talk. He allegedly later reached under Valdovinos’ towel, ‘grabbed my genitals and started masturbating it.’
Singer denies knowing Valdovinos or the incident taking place.
Two other men, who gave only the names Ben and Andy, allege having sex with Singer at his house. Ben was 17 and had attended a pool party there: ‘He would stick his hands down your pants without consent,’ Ben recalls. He claims Singer would typically ply people with alcohol and drugs before attempting to have sex with them.
Andy also alleges he had sex with Singer when only 17 (the age of consent in California is 18). The fourth man, Eric, says he was only 15 when he allegedly had sex with Singer in 1997. Singer was 31 at the time.
Singer’s legal representative Andrew Brettler denied the allegations. He pointed out Singer has never been arrested for or charged with any crime. Singer categorically denies ever having sex with, or a preference for, underage men.
Bryan Singer: ‘[Journalists] have reckless disregard for the truth’
Singer has known for some time that reporters were looking into allegations around his private life. In an Instagram post from last October, he alluded to Esquire preparing a story.
‘I have known for some time that [there may be] a negative article about me. They have contacted my friends, colleagues and people I don’t even know.
‘In today’s climate where people’s careers are being harmed by mere accusations, what [these reporters are] attempting to do is a reckless disregard for the truth, making assumptions that are fictional and irresponsible.
No major story appeared in Esquire. It’s not known if this is the story that was originally planned to run in that title.
Singer was the original director of Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, but was discharged from the production two weeks before the end of shooting. He was replaced by British director Dexter Fletcher. The movie is in the running for Best Picture at the Oscars. It won a Golden Globe for best movie earlier this month.
Despite the allegations that have dogged him, Singer’s next project is directing Red Sonja for Millennium Films.