This post has been updated to reflect the news that Egan’s attorney has formally filed to withdraw as counsel and that Egan’s attorney has formally filed to withdraw as counsel in Hawaii and California.
Ever since the director Bryan Singer was sued for sex abuse in April, he and his attorney have consistently claimed that the allegations are false and malicious and declared their intention to have the case thrown out.
But, according to a “memorandum of settlement” obtained by BuzzFeed, Singer agreed in June to settle the case for $100,000, with a provision binding the parties to confidentiality. The document appears to be signed by Singer, his attorney Martin Singer (no relation), and Jeff Herman, the attorney for the accuser.
But Michael Egan, the man suing Singer, did not sign the document, and told BuzzFeed that he never agreed to the settlement.
“This exact kind of take-it-and-shut-up deal is why I decided to stand up in the first place,” he said. “Being silenced goes completely against what I believe in and offers no protection for other vulnerable children.”
After BuzzFeed sent Herman the memorandum of settlement and a second document stating that his firm was representing three other victims in cases against Singer, he wrote BuzzFeed saying that he was in the process of dropping Egan as a client.
Herman and Martin Singer declined to comment on whether the documents obtained by BuzzFeed are authentic. But Egan said they are: “Yes, these documents are real,” he told BuzzFeed.
Martin Singer also declined say whether the signatures on the settlement memorandum are those of him and his client, though they appear to match those on other documents that are publicly available. He did say that Herman had contacted him seeking to settle the case for $100,000, adding that Herman had “clearly lost confidence in Egan.”
“Egan is the one who approached us,” he said. Because the sum amounted to significantly less than the millions it would likely have taken to fight the case, Martin Singer said, “from a business perspective we said we would consider” the settlement offer.
However, before BuzzFeed showed Martin Singer the settlement memorandum, he said that he and his client had no intention of settling the case. In May, Martin Singer filed a motion to have Egan’s suit dismissed; that case is still pending in federal court in Hawaii. He said he expects the motion to be decided in his client’s favor, after which they will sue Egan for malicious prosecution.
“Once we prevail, we intend to go after Mr. Egan,” he said.
After BuzzFeed sent the documents to Egan’s attorney, Herman, he wrote, “We are in the process of withdrawing from representing Mr. Egan in all his cases and have no further comment concerning his matters at this time. We cannot comment on any actual or purported documents that may or may not be or reflect privileged or confidential communications.”
After this story was first posted, Herman filed motions in Hawaii and California to withdraw as Egan’s counsel in several sex-abuse suits that stemmed from Egan’s original complaint against Singer. In one motion to withdraw, Herman said that the relationship between him and his client had “deteriorated” over the past months. “In this particular case, there is no question but that the attorney-client relationship between Mr. Egan and [Herman] has broken down completely and cannot be repaired.”
The apparent settlement agreement, dated June 27, states that a sum of $100,000 would be paid into Egan’s trust account 10 days after the dismissal of the Hawaii and California actions.
The document also specifies “scripted language” to be used by the parties and attorneys when referencing the case. The language apparently agreed to by Singer and his lawyers reads, “Pleased that the matter has been dismissed.”
According to the document, Egan and his lawyers agreed to respond with “The matter has been dismissed” and “I and (my client) do not want to pursue the claim.”
A second document obtained by BuzzFeed — a June 25 letter from a lawyer in Herman’s firm to Egan — states that Herman’s firm was representing three other “victims” and one more “potential client” in sex-abuse lawsuits against Singer. Only one of these plaintiffs — a young British actor known only as John Doe 117 — was previously known. The British plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his case last week.
But Martin Singer, the director’s attorney, said that, other than the cases brought by Egan and John Doe 117, Herman pursued no others against Singer, whether they led to lawsuits being filed or not.
The language that Singer apparently agreed to in the settlement memorandum for Egan’s case is nearly identical to the only statement released by his attorney regarding last week’s dismissal of John Doe 117’s case: “We are pleased the case was dismissed.”
Herman would not comment on whether other cases had been pursued against Singer. “We decline to speak about any other clients we may or may not have represented,” he said in a statement. “We demand that nothing be published about these matters.”
If you have any information pertaining to allegations of sexual abuse against minors in Hollywood, email David Noriega at firstname.lastname@example.org.