LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A lawyer for X-Men director Bryan Singer dismissed as defamatory Thursday claims that the filmmaker sexually assaulted a former child model and aspiring teenage actor.
The alleged victim, Michael Egan III, said in a lawsuit that Mr Singer forced him to have sex at parties in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s, when he was 17 years old.
But Singer's lawyer said the allegations were absurd, and that the timing of their release was designed to generate maximum publicity ahead of the release of the latest X-Men movie next month.
"It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan's new movie is about to open in a few weeks," said Marty Singer, who said he is not related to the director.
In the lawsuit, Mr Egan alleged that Singer "manipulated his power, wealth, and position in the entertainment industry to sexually abuse and exploit the underage Plaintiff through the use of drugs, alcohol, threats, and inducements."
The abuse "resulted in Plaintiff suffering catastrophic psychological and emotional injuries," added the legal document, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.
The 13-page lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in Hawaii, claimed that Mr Singer promised Mr Egan acting roles in an X-Men movie, commercials and other projects.
Mr Singer allegedly plied Egan with drugs and sexually assaulted him in and near a swimming pool in Hawaii, in one of the alleged attacks listed in the legal document.
"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children. This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue," the alleged victim's lawyer Jeff Herman said in a statement.
Mr Egan and Mr Herman were due to hold a press conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday to give more details about the allegations.