Director Bryan Singer
'X-Men' director named in abuse lawsuit
02:25 - Source: HLN

Story highlights

NEW: "I was a piece of meat," plaintiff says

NEW: "It's the worst kept secret " in Hollywood, lawyer says

Bryan Singer's rep says the suit is "completely without merit"

Singer is one of Hollywood's most successful directors

Los Angeles CNN  — 

A lawyer who filed a teen sex abuse lawsuit against “X-Men” director Bryan Singer said three more “Hollywood types” will be targeted in similar suits soon.

Michael Egan, who accuses Singer of sexually abusing him starting when he was 15, appeared with attorney Jeff Herman at a news conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday.

“I was a piece of meat,” Egan, now 31, told reporters. “There was no relationship.”

The civil suit filed in U.S. District Court in Hawaii on Wednesday alleged that Singer offered the aspiring teen actor a role in an “X-Men” film if he gave in to his sexual demands, while threatening to destroy his career if he didn’t.

Singer’s representative said the accusations were “completely without merit.”

“We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit,” Singer’s representative said. “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 is one of Hollywood’s most successful directors and producers, having directed two installments of the “X-Men” film franchise and a Superman movie in the past 15 years. His next film, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” is set to hit theaters on May 23.

Fox, the studio distributing the X-Men movies, issued a statement about the accusations Thursday.

“These are serious allegations, and they will be resolved in the appropriate forum. This is a personal matter, which Bryan Singer and his representatives are addressing separately.”

Herman said he chose Hawaii to file the suit because the legislature there opened a window for two years allowing old sex abuse cases to be filed. The provision expires next week.

The alleged incidents detailed in the lawsuit happened in 1998 and 1999, the suit said. Most of the alleged sex abuse took place at parties at a California mansion, while other incidents allegedly happened during two trips to Hawaii.

Singer “manipulated his power, wealth and position in the entertainment industry to sexually abuse and exploit the underage plaintiff through the use of drugs, alcohol, threats and inducements which resulted in plaintiff suffering catastrophic psychological and emotional injuries,” the complaint alleged.

Singer “promised acting roles to plaintiff in an X-Men movie, in commercials, and in other of his projects, and professed that he would arrange for plaintiff to audition for roles and projects in others’ productions,” it alleged.

Egan said when his mother learned about the abuse when he was 17 she called the Los Angeles Police, who then brought in the FBI. Although he gave a statement to investigators, it “fell on deaf ears” and nothing came of the investigation, he said.

The FBI spokeswoman in Los Angeles told CNN the agency would not confirm or deny that there was an investigation or why it might not have been pursued.

The lawsuit said that most of the alleged sex abuse took place at parties hosted at an Encino, California, mansion, by a man who Egan and two other young men successfully sued in 2004 for sex abuse. The men won a $4 million judgment against him, but Singer was not a defendant in that case.

Egan and other teen boys were allegedly lured with incentives and threats, the suit said.

“He was advised that those adult males controlled Hollywood and would destroy his hopes and dreams of an acting career if he did not keep them happy,” the suit said. “They threatened to ‘eliminate’ him and his family, and told him that they were monitoring not only his phone, but those of his family members, and asserted he would be ‘destroyed’ if he ever disclosed the unconscionable activities that occurred at the estate.”

Singer “was present for, and participated in, several of these threatening communications,” the complaint alleged.

Egan “never freely, voluntarily, and knowingly consented to these sexual interactions, and often resisted them,” it said.

“The parties were typically sordid and featured sexual contact between adult males and the many teenage boys who were present for the parties,” the suit said. The teens were seduced by the “distraction of alcohol and drugs,” it said.

“The nature of the parties was well-known and notorious among many men in the Hollywood entertainment industry,” the complaint said.

Singer allegedly gave Egan “drugs, including cocaine, a pill identified as ‘green triangle’ which is believed to be a reference to the drug Ecstasy, Xanax, Rohypnol, pain pills believed to be Vicodin or Percocet, and alcoholic beverages,” the suit said. 

Singer “promised acting roles to plaintiff in an X-Men movie, in commercials, and in other of his projects, and professed that he would arrange for plaintiff to audition for roles and projects in others’ productions,” it alleged.

Egan told reporters that after the FBI declined to help, he gave up on his dream of being an actor and “buried it in me as deeply as I possibly could.”

After years of drinking “to numb the pain,” he became sober two years ago and began trauma therapy to “deal with deep-rooted issues,” Egan said.

“I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse,” he said. “At the end of the day, we are not going to stop and change anything unless people come forward.”

Herman said he has been working for six months to uncover teen sex abuse cases in Hollywood, some more recent than Egan’s.

“We suspect these things are still going on in Hollywood,” he said.

He said it was a silent conspiracy that “goes from the bottom to the top of Hollywood” with studios “looking the other way.”

“It’s the worst kept secret around, because it has been going on for years in Hollywood,” Herman said.

CNN’s Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.