LOS ANGELES — The attorney in a lawsuit alleging X-Men director Bryan Singer sexually abused a teenage boy said it's the first of several that will be released next week in hopes of ending "pedophile rings" he said exist in Hollywood.
"Hollywood's got a problem," said Jeff Herman, attorney for Michael Egan, the alleged victim, at a press conference. "Since filing this lawsuit yesterday, I've heard from many people who allege that as children in Hollywood, they've been abused."
At least three other lawsuits will be filed next week, Herman said.
"Obviously, there's other alleged perpetrators," he said. "They will be named. The ones who committed abuses in Hawaii will be named next week in lawsuits."
Singer's attorney said Thursday that the allegations are "completely without merit."
Herman said the timing of the lawsuit had nothing to do with the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which will be released May 23, but was due to the statute of limitations in Hawaii. The suit had to be filed by April 24, he said.
A lawsuit filed against Singer Wednesday in a federal court in Hawaii accuses the X-Men director of sexually abusing and exploiting Egan. According to the suit, Egan was introduced to Singer at parties hosted by Marc Collins-Rector, chairman of the board of directors of Digital Entertainment Network, or DEN, at an Encino, Calif., mansion.
The suit alleges the parties were "well-known and notorious among many men in the Hollywood entertainment industry" and involved drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity between teenage boys and adult men. Egan was told the adult males who attended these parties "controlled Hollywood and would destroy his hopes and dreams of an acting career if he did not keep them happy," and if he ever disclosed what happened at the parties, he would be "destroyed," the suit states.
"You were a piece of meat," Egan said at the press conference. "I was raped numerous times in that house by numerous individuals." He said he was 15 years old when he began going to the house.
Egan was also allegedly sexually abused during trips to Hawaii with Collins-Rector, Singer, and other teenage boys and adult men in 1999 when he was 17 years old. During two specific trips mentioned in the suit, he was given drugs and alcohol by Singer and promised an acting role in an X-Men film, commercials, and other projects of Singer's and others.
Herman said other trips between these adult men and teenage boys were taken to Las Vegas and Lake Havasu, Ariz.
According to the lawsuit, Egan was forced to consume alcohol and drugs and engage in sexual acts, which he "never freely, voluntarily, and knowingly consented to" at the parties, including one incident when Collins-Rector, a registered sex offender in Florida, allegedly put a gun up to Egan's head when he refused to participate in sexual activity and threatened to pull the trigger. Egan was then locked in a gun safe in a bedroom, the suit states.
Egan said he told his mother when he was 17, who went to authorities, after two other teenage boys who were at the house had taken him "under their wings." He said his mother contacted the Los Angeles Police Department, and an FBI agent eventually got involved, but nothing was done.
Egan said he recently began undergoing trauma therapy and sought out Herman for his work in other child sexual abuse cases.
"This goes from the bottom to the top of Hollywood," Herman said. "This is a big problem. I do blame the industry in terms of not regulating itself."
Herman said he has heard from "many people in the last 18 hours who were victims of sexual abuse in Hollywood and are talking about it for the first times in their lives."
"I've seen some really vile things," he said. "There are these pedophile rings that exist in Hollywood. What I intend to do is draw back a cloak and shine a light on this darkness."
An attorney for Singer, Marty Singer, called the allegations, "completely fabricated."
"We look forward to our bringing a claim for malicious prosecution against Mr Egan and his attorney after we prevail," he said.