Director Bryan Singer is being sued for the alleged sexual assault of a 17-year-old boy while on a yacht in Seattle in 2003, Variety reports.
The suit claims the director allegedly forced Cesar Sanchez-Guzman to engage in several sexual acts against his will. According to the court document obtained by Variety, Sanchez-Guzman was at a party on a yacht owned and hosted by Lester Waters, who, according to the lawsuit “was a wealthy tech investor who frequently hosted parties for young gay males in the Seattle area.”
According to the suit, Singer was also at the party. Singer allegedly approached Sanchez-Guzman and offered to give him a tour of the yacht, and then the suit claims that Sanchez-Guzman was taken to a room where Singer allegedly “thrust his body” on Sanchez-Guzman. The suit alleges that “Singer then forced Cesar to the floor, shoved Cesar’s face against his crotch area and demanded Cesar perform oral sex on him,” despite Sanchez-Guzman pleading for him to stop. The suit also claims the director forcibly performed oral and anal sex on Sanchez-Guzman.
The suit also alleges that Singer promised acting roles in exchange for Sanchez-Gomez’s silence about what allegedly occurred. “Later, Bryan Singer approached Cesar and told him that he was a producer in Hollywood and that he could help Cesar get into acting as long as Cesar never said anything about the incident,” the court document states.
A rep for Singer did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment. A representative for Singer said in a statement to Variety that he “categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end.”
Singer has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past. According to Deadline, Michael Egan III filed a civil suit against Singer that alleged the director drugged him and forced him to have sex at parties in Encino and Hawaii while he was a teen. But Egan later admitted he never left the mainland and withdrew his suit. (Egan’s suit was dismissed without prejudice – an option that gives Egan leeway to refile a claim against Singer, and one that Singer’s legal team had argued against in a court filing.) A 14-year-old extra also filed a lawsuit claiming the director forced him and other minors to strip naked for a scene in a shower room during the filming of Apt Pupil in 1997, but the civil case was dismissed.
The new allegations come just three days after Singer was fired from helming Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. In a statement, Singer refuted reports that his firing arose from a disagreement with Rami Malek. “While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving,” and he claimed it was due to dealing with “health matters” involving one of his parents.
Singer rose to fame after directing the 1995 noir-whodunit The Usual Suspects, which starred Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro and Stephen Baldwin. Spacey won a Best-Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the film. Recently, after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against Spacey, Byrne commented that The Usual Suspects filming was “closed down” due to Spacey’s sexual misconduct.
“I did not know honestly then the extent of his violence,” Bryne told The Sunday Times. “I mean, he was kind of a joke in that people would say, ‘That’s Kevin,’ but nobody really understood the depth of his predations. It was only years later that we began to understand that [filming] was closed down for a particular reason and that was because of inappropriate sexual behavior by Spacey.”
In a 2014 profile in Out magazine, Singer came out as bisexual, pointing out that people had just assumed he was gay. He had a baby with his best friend, Michelle Clunie, in January 2015. He said that closeted actors in Hollywood have asked him for advice on what to do about their sexuality. “I say do whatever feels comfortable,” he told Out at the time. “If it’s hurting you inside, if it’s limiting your enjoyment of life, then by all means, be open about it. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you’re under no obligation to the public. I like to believe celebrities have an obligation to at least be nice to fans, but they don’t have to explain their sex lives – unless they really want to.”
Read Singer’s full statement below:
“Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end. Cesar Sanchez-Guzman apparently claims that he did not remember this alleged incident from 2003 until now. Significantly, when Sanchez-Guzman filed for bankruptcy only a few years ago, he failed to disclose this alleged claim when he was supposed to identify all of his assets, but conveniently, now that the bankruptcy court discharged all of his debts, he is able to recall the alleged events. The attorney behind this lawsuit is the same lawyer who represented Michael Egan, the convicted felon who sued Bryan Singer in 2014. In the end, Egan was forced to dismiss that case once the facts came out and his story completely fell apart. Egan and his attorneys then found themselves as defendants in a malicious prosecution action brought by some of the individuals who Egan previously sued. In an apology to those individuals, Egan’s attorney acknowledged the claims that had been filed were ‘untrue and provably false.’ Notwithstanding his track record, this same lawyer is coming after Bryan again. We are confident that this case will turn out the same way the Egan case did. And once Bryan prevails, he will pursue his own claims for malicious prosecution.”