NEW YORK • Bryan Singer, who directed several X-Men movies, was accused in a lawsuit on Thursday of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy at a party more than a decade ago.
In the lawsuit, Mr Cesar Sanchez-Guzman said he met Singer for the first time at the 2003 party, which took place on a yacht in Seattle, when he offered to give him a tour of the boat. While showing him the master bedroom, according to the lawsuit, Singer shut the door behind them and demanded sex from Mr Sanchez-Guzman.
After he refused, the lawsuit says, Singer pushed him on the bed and sexually assaulted him.
"Later, Bryan Singer approached Cesar and told him he was a producer in Hollywood and that he could help Cesar get into acting as long as Cesar never said anything about the incident," according to the lawsuit, which was filed in King County, Washington. "He then told Cesar that no one would believe him if he ever reported the incident, and that he could hire people who are capable of ruining someone's reputation."
A representative for Singer said he "categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end".
He added: "Once Bryan prevails, he will pursue his own claims for malicious prosecution."
The lawsuit does not say whether Mr Sanchez-Guzman or anyone else reported the allegations to the police. A spokesman for the Seattle Police Department said he could not search for possible records until Friday (today Singapore time).
Singer was fired in recent days from directing Bohemian Rhapsody, a 20th Century Fox film about British rock band Queen, after he failed to return to the set after Thanksgiving. He has said the problem was that Fox refused to give him time off to care for "a sick parent".
In 2014, one-time aspiring actor Michael Egan accused Singer of drugging and raping him when he was a minor in 1999. Egan later dropped the lawsuit.
In Melbourne yesterday, actor Geoffrey Rush said he had filed a defamation lawsuit against Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper after it published a report about a complaint alleging inappropriate conduct.
The article last month said an Australian theatre company had received a complaint about "inappropriate behaviour" following the production of King Lear two years ago, in which Rush starred.
NYTIMES, GUARDIAN, REUTERS