The Atlantic has published the results of a year-long investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by director Bryan Singer and said it spoke with more than 50 sources, including four who are being heard for the first time.
Writes The Atlantic: ‘The accusations against Singer cover a spectrum. Some of the alleged victims say they were seduced by the director while underage; others say they were raped. The victims we interviewed told us these experiences left them psychologically damaged, with substance-abuse problems, depression, and PTSD. The portrait of Singer that emerges is of a troubled man who surrounded himself with vulnerable teenage boys, many of them estranged from their families. Their accounts suggest that Singer didn’t act alone; he was aided by friends and associates who brought him young men. And he was abetted, in a less direct way, by an industry in which a record of producing hits confers immense power: Many of the sources we interviewed insisted, out of fear of damaging their own career, that we withhold their name, even as they expressed dismay at the behavior they’d witnessed.’
Singer attempted to preempt a damaging article (he said it would be published in Esquire) last October, writing on Instagram: “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.”
The Wrap reported: ‘A person close to Singer told TheWrap that while they have not seen the Esquire article, the magazine did reach out for comment. They declined. The person told us they were not given quotes from the piece, though the questions were “clear enough” to see where the article “was going.” This person told us they believe Max Potter is the reporter writing the piece, which Singer’s camp expects will be in the November issue of Esquire magazine, which should hit newsstands this week.’
The Atlantic article was penned by Potter and Alex French.
The Atlantic article makes specific note of two people they spoke to in its introduction: “A man we’ll call Eric told us that he was 17 in 1997 when he and Singer had sex at a party at the director’s house; another we’ll call Andy says he was only 15 that same year, when he and Singer had sex in a Beverly Hills mansion. Both men say Singer, who was then in his early 30s, knew they were under 18, the age of consent in California. (They asked The Atlantic to conceal their identity for fear of retaliation, and because they didn’t want certain details about their past made public.)”
The magazine spoke with Victor Valdovinos, who said Singer molested him at 13 on the set of the film Apt Pupil, which was also the subject of lawsuits which were settled that claimed actors and extras were bullied into appearing naked in a shower scene.
Another alleged victim, “Ben”, described parties held by singer at his house in the Mar Vista section of L.A. allegedly attended by lots of underage boys. Ben said he was “passed around” by many of the men in Singer’s circle and that Singer and he had oral sex: “He would stick his hands down your pants without your consent. He was predatory in that he would ply people with alcohol and drugs and then have sex with them.”
“Andy” said he had sex with Singer at the age of 14 at a party held at the home of Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley, the founders of a start-up called DEN Entertainment, and Apt Pupil star Brad Renfro was in the room at the beginning of their sex session.
“Eric” detailed similar experiences he had with Singer at the age of 17, also involving the DEN owners’ estate. The article notes: “In August 2000, a federal grand jury indicted Marc Collins-Rector on charges related to transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of sex. Collins-Rector fled the country and was a fugitive for almost two years before being arrested in Spain, where authorities discovered a cache of weapons and 8,000 images of child pornography in the villa where he was living. He was held in a Spanish jail from May 2002 until October 2003. Upon his release, he was extradited to the United States and ultimately pleaded guilty to nine charges of transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of sex. He was sentenced to time served in Spain plus three years of court supervision and is now a registered sex offender.”
The Atlantic article should be read in its entirety for all the lurid details. Singer has denied many of its claims through his lawyer, and they are noted in specific spots in the article.
In his Instagram post last October, Singer pointed to one example of a “bogus” lawsuit. In that suit, he was accused of the alleged rape of a 17-year-old boy at a party on a yacht in Seattle owned by tech investor Lester Waters. The alleged incident, which Singer denies, took place in 2003.
Singer was accused of sexual assault with other high-profile Hollywood figures by another man, Michael Egan, in 2014, who accused him of being part of a “Hollywood sex ring” targeting underage boys.
Egan later dropped all four lawsuits and Egan’s attorneys Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher dropped him.
Singer was fired in December as director on the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after complaint about his erratic behavior and unreliability on set.
Singer denied those claims, saying he was suffering health issues related to the stress of caring for an ill parent.