X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer responded to the sexual abuse allegations against him on Thursday, calling them "outrageous" and "vicious." He also announced his decision to bow out of promotional appearances for his latest superhero sequel amid the scandal.
"The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious, and completely false," Singer, 48, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on April 24. "I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men: Days of Future Past. This fantastic film is a labor of love and one of the greatest experiences of my career."
The statement continued: "So, out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I've decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film. However, I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shakedown it is. I want to thank fans, friends, and family for all their amazing and overwhelming support."
Singer's statement comes one week after his accuser, former child model Michael Egan III, filed a lawsuit alleging that the director had coerced him into having oral and anal sex when he was 17. The suit also claims that Egan was "lured into a sex ring" with promises of future jobs in the entertainment industry, though it does not accuse Singer of pressuring him into the ring.
"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," Singer's attorney Marty Singer (no relation) said in a statement at the time. He noted, too, that he was "very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit."