Asked by a reporter the day after Bohemian Rhapsody was nominated for five Oscars, including best picture and actor, star Rami Malek told the Los Angeles Times that he was unaware of previous claims of sexual assault against helmer Bryan Singer when he began work on the 20th Century Fox musical biopic of Freddie Mercury.
“As far as I knew, I was considered before Bryan was even attached,” Malek said when asked if he had any regrets following a new story of allegations of sexual abuse emerged in The Atlantic yesterday.
In a follow up Malek was asked about how to respond to fans who may question viewing the film given Singer’s involvement: “I think they can understand that Bryan Singer was fired from the film. And that can be something that they can look at from a perspective of understanding why they can appreciate the film. And as far as I’m concerned, I never want to take away from Freddie’s story. I think that puts a button on it in a number of ways.”
Singer quickly responded to the new allegations published in The Atlantic .
Singer claims that Esquire, which had originally commissioned the exposé chose not to publish it after it had been fact-checked.
Said Singer in a statement published by Deadline: “That didn’t stop this writer from selling it to The Atlantic.It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success.”
Malek added one of the reasons for the film’s success despite the headwinds it faced, “Perhaps that was Freddie himself doing it, because we wanted to make a product that was worthy of him.”