Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer is facing more sexual misconduct allegations in a new exposé, which was published by The Atlantic on Wednesday, January 23. In the piece, multiple men came forward to accuse Singer of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s.
One of the alleged victims, Victor Valdovinos, said he was an extra at the age of 13 on the set of the now-53-year-old director’s movie Apt Pupil in 1997. Valdovinos claimed that Singer approached him in a bathroom and said, “You’re so good-looking. What are you doing tomorrow? Maybe I could have somebody contact you about putting you in this movie.”
Over the course of filming, Singer allegedly told Valdovinos to “hang out” on set wearing nothing but a towel and proceeded to “[grab] my genitals and started masturbating it.” Valdovinos alleged that Singer also smiled and “rubbed his front part on me.”
“I was frozen. Speechless,” Valdovinos recalled. “He came back to where I was in the locker room throughout the day to molest me.”
A second alleged victim, simply identified as Andy, claimed that he and Singer had sex in a Los Angeles mansion when Andy was 15. Andy said, “I just remember how loud the moaning was. I remember thinking, ‘God, there’s a big group of people downstairs hanging out in the living room, and they can probably hear him.’”
He continued: “That bothered me, so I stuck my hand over his mouth or in his mouth just to stop it. When we went downstairs, it was really awkward. I just acted like it was no big thing.”
Eric, the third alleged victim to come forward in the report, claimed he and the X-Men director had sex multiple times, despite the fact that a then-31-year-old Singer knew Eric was only 17. “I spent a decade in therapy trying to figure out if what happened was bad or not bad,” Eric explained. “And if it was bad, was it my fault? What I’ve decided is that adults are supposed to look out for kids.”
The fourth alleged victim, Ben, claimed he and Singer had oral sex at a party. Ben was 17 or 18 at the time. “He would stick his hands down your pants without your consent,” Ben alleged. “He was predatory in that he would ply people with alcohol and drugs and then have sex with them. It wasn’t a hold-you-down-and-rape-you situation.”
Singer’s lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler, said in a statement to The Atlantic that the movie executive “has never been arrested for or charged with any crime, and that Singer categorically denies ever having sex with, or a preference for, underage men.” The magazine said its yearlong investigation included interviews with more than 50 sources.
The filmmaker later released a lengthy statement to Us Weekly: “The last time I posted about this subject, Esquire magazine was preparing to publish an article written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997. After careful fact-checking and, in consideration of the lack of credible sources, Esquire chose not to publish this piece of vendetta journalism. That didn’t stop this writer from selling it to The Atlantic. It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success.”
This isn’t the first time Singer has been accused of sexual misconduct, however. In December 2017, the Valkyrie director was sued for allegedly raping Cesar Sanchez-Guzman in 2003 when the alleged victim was only 17. Singer’s rep told Us at the time that he “categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end.”
That same month, 20th Century Fox fired Singer from Bohemian Rhapsody, claiming he repeatedly failed to show up on set. Singer claimed, however, that he asked for time off because one of his parents was ill, but the studio was “unwilling to accommodate” his request. “This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health,” Singer told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. While he got axed from the project before it was filmed, he is still credited as the movie’s director.
Rami Malek, the actor who played the late Freddie Mercury in the Oscar-nominated Queen biopic, was recently asked about the allegations against Singer and said he was not aware about them before joining the cast.
“I didn’t know much about Bryan. I think that the allegations and things were, believe it or not, honestly something I was not aware of, and that is what it is,” Malek, 37, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, January 22. “Who knows what happens with that … but I think somehow we found a way to persevere through everything that was thrown our way.”