A Cliff Notes Guide To The Very Serious Claims Against X Men Director Bryan Singer

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Bryan Singer attending the Vanity Fair Oscar party March 2014I'm sure you were hoping not to have to dedicate any space in your brain to these accusations against X Men director Bryan Singer. I feel the same way, because sometimes I feel like I've already filled my quota for my whole life of horrifying details that I wish I didn't read on the internet.

But this story isn't going away, and we all need to be informed, so come along with me as I explain the seriousness of the allegations that are currently being leveled at this guy. Buckle up.

Bryan Singer is an openly gay screenwriter, director, and producer who's worked on projects like The Usual Suspects. He's currently being sued by formerly-aspiring actor Michael Egan, who alleges he was seventeen at the time of their non-consensual encounters. In addition to forcible sexual abuse of a minor, he's suing for:

‘Intentional affliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion. He is requesting compensation for damages and attorney's fees.'

The lawsuit alleges that around 1999, Egan was brought to a party at the M & C Estate, the California home of Chad Shackley, who lived with and co-founded a company called Digital Entertainment Network with a man named Marc Collins-Rector. (But that's not all they have in common! They've both also had suits filed against them for sexual abuse, with Collins-Rector now forced to register as a sex-offender for transporting minors across state lines for the purposes of sex.) Egan was brought there by Shackley's younger brother, who was in Egan's high school class.

The suit alleges that Collins-Rector and Shackley were part of a group of men, alleged in the lawsuit to include Singer, who hosted wild parties at that estate. Parties that were staffed by Egan and other young men who were intended to be ‘available' to the guests. They, or Egan at least, were employed for genuine purposes by DEN at a rate of about $1,500. This was legitimate work, but he also received about $600 a week ‘from different accounts without any designation of job duties, title, or position'. Yikes.

Egan believes that this money was given to himself and the other teenage males to encourage them to keep their mouths shut about being forced to have sex with older men. He alleges that they were plied with alcohol and drugs, sometimes without their knowledge. Essentially an orgy, is what's being described, except not all the participants were willing. Egan alleges that he was also flown to the Paul Mitchell estate in Hawaii where he was repeatedly abused, frequently to the point of anal rape.

In order to ensure his silence, Egan claims his alleged abusers alternated between offering him movie roles that never materialized and threatening him with violence. He alleges that Singer was specifically present during an occasion when Egan was warned he was being monitored and that if he told anyone about the activity, that his family would be targeted.

There are many details of the alleged abuse here, but they're so deeply nauseating to read that I'm not going to print them here. You can read those on your own, but I'm going to move on.

It's worth noting that in 1997, Singer was named as a defendant in another lawsuit that was filed by the parents of teenaged extras alleging that he'd coerced them into doing nudity on the set of Apt PupilHowever, when those claims were investigated more thoroughly, they seemed to have more to do with the parents' homophobia than genuine concerns, and the District Attorney refused to press charges. Eventually even the civil cases were thrown out.

And speaking of lawsuits, Michael Egan has filed one previously himself, and one very closely to the one he's filing now. In a lawsuit filed by several individuals in 2000, a defendant identified as Michael E. sued the alleged hosts of those 1999 parties in Los Angeles and Hawaii, but didn't include Bryan Singer's name at that time. His lawyers allege that Egan has made the choice to add him to the lawsuit now because Singer has a film coming out on May 20th and the potential for publicity was much higher. Egan's current lawyer has no explanation for why his client's previous lawyer didn't sue Singer the first time around, but it might have something to do with the fact that Egan claims he and his mother went to the LAPD and the FBI at the time and that their pleas for help ‘fell on deaf ears'.

Obviously nothing has been confirmed, but rumors have been rampant for years about not only these out-of-control parties, but also Singer's alleged predilection for young men. But regardless of the level of truth in the accusations, Singer is already starting to feel the consequences, as an ABC promo for the show Black Box that used his name has been pulled by the network.

There are already so many details and allegations and accusations out there that I'm frankly overwhelmed by it, and I'm not even involved. There's a lot more information out there, and with sources like Radar alleging that several big name Hollywood stars were witness to some of the abuse, it's going to get worse before it gets better. Especially as Michael Egan is pushing for a trial.

Like I said, everyone — buckle up.

(Photo: Brian To /