‘X-Men’ director Bryan Singer accused of raping teen boy in 1999; case mentions sex offender Marc Collins-Rector of DEN

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer. Photo: Reuters

A 2007 mugshot of sex offender Marc Collins-Rector, former chairman of DEN. He is mentioned in the 2014 lawsuit against Singer.

Bryan Singer, the director of the forthcoming film “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is accused in a lawsuit filed today in Hawaii federal court of drugging and raping a teenage boy in 1999. The case is a civil case, not a criminal case, and Singer's attorney says the charges are "without merit." AP reports that the lawsuit was filed in Hawaii "because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases."

Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Marc Collins-Rector, a sexual predator and founder and chairman of Digital Entertainment Network (aka DEN or <EN), an early internet video startup that made headlines for high capitalization and sex parties involving founders and teen boys. Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender who fled to Spain, and was arrested there in 2002. In 2004, Collins-Rector pled guilty to charges he lured minors across state lines for sexual acts. The allegations of sexual abuse involving Collins-Rector and other DEN executives shocked the web startup world in 1999, and led to the collapse of DEN's IPO.

Variety reports on the charges against Brian Singer filed today:

The plaintiff, Michael Egan, claims he was 17 when Singer forcibly sodomized him, among other allegations. Egan’s lawyers, led by Jeff Herman, allege that Singer provided him with drugs and alcohol and flew him to Hawaii on more than one occasion in 1999. His suit claims battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion, and it seeks unspecified damages.

Singer’s attorney, Marty Singer, called the lawsuit “absurd and defamatory.” “The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit,” the attorney said. “We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated.”

Collins-Rector isn't named as a defendant, but Variety reports that he "is accused of initiating the sexual abuse of Egan and arranging for Singer to assault Egan at a house in Encino, CA."

In 1999, when the DEN sex abuse story broke, I was a reporter for Digital Coast Reporter, an online and print magazine that covered technology news in Southern California. I covered the DEN scandal for the publication, and drove to that house in Encino with my editor to photograph it. The home was once the residence of notorious hip-hop mogul Marion 'Suge' Knight. How strange to hear it, and Collins-Rector, mentioned again after all these years.

The lawsuit alleges that Collins-Rector and his Digital Entertainment Network investors, including Singer, would lure young men to a house dubbed the M & C Estate in Encino to intoxicate and sexually assault a number of teenage boys and that many in the Hollywood industry were aware of the “notorious parties.”

Egan, an aspiring actor and model at the time, claims that Singer provided him with several drugs, including cocaine, a pill identified as “green triangle” which is believed to be a reference to the drug Ecstasy, Xanax, Rohypnol, and Vicodin or Percocet, in addition to alcoholic beverages.

The Wrap is also reporting on the allegations against Singer, and has published excerpts from the court documents:

Defendant, BRYAN JAY 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. Defendant Singer did so as part of a group of adult males similarly positioned in the entertainment industry that maintained and exploited boys in a sordid sex ring. A Hollywood mogul must not use his position to sexually exploit underage actors.
More at The Wrap, including lengthy graphic/sexually explicit descriptions of the alleged sexual crimes.

The lawyer representing the man who says Singer assaulted him is the same attorney who represented the plaintiff in the case against former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash. The defense will hold a press conference on Thursday in Beverly Hills.

This is not the first time such allegations have been made against Brian Singer. In 1997, A 14-year-old movie extra filed a lawsuit claiming that Singer and others "ordered him and other minors to strip for a scene that was shot in the showers of a school locker room."

Notable Replies

  1. No “trigger warning?”

  2. Do you really need one with that title?

  3. The Apt Pupilcase had to do with a lawsuit filed by the parents of some of the teenage extras on the film claiming that, not to put too fine of a point on it, Bryan Singer filmed them in a scene set in a high school locker room purely for the sake of getting off. After a big investigation, the civil suit was dismissed and criminal charges were never filed.

    I'm inclined to be extremely skeptical of these new charges, both because of the timing of the suit (fifteen years after the alleged events, one month before the new X-Men movie comes out) and because the attorney masterminded the similar lawsuits against Kevin Clash, which ruined his career even though most of them were dismissed.

  4. I did some looking around it's likely with the statute of limitations. Most states seem to not have one for rape. Or have >10 years, extend them if the Vic is a minor. And there a bunch of ways to tweek statute of limitations to get more time out of it. Also moving a minor across state lines is a federal crime, so if was underaged during any of this there's that angle too. So there's a question of why there's no law enforcement involvement from multiple jurisdictions, for multiple alleged crimes.

    But then I have heard crazy, creepy shit from friends in LA about Singer for a long while.

  5. These sorts of situations are always sick and sad. Blaming the victim for waiting so long to bring a case is the wrong reaction, because the victim may have had to undergo years of introspection and therapy (perhaps even addiction treatment) to understand that he/she was a victim in the first place. But letting a media-savvy attorney tarnish the reputation of someone who is not conclusively proven to have done wrong is also problematic.

    The unfortunate truth is that where there are repeated signs of smoke, there's often fire, and those who are powerful and wealthy tend also to have the privilege of legal protection that allows them to dodge these claims, those who have a pattern of attracting this sort of attention are more often than not involved in something sordid.

    The other sad truth is that this is more commonplace in the entertainment industry than it ought to be. Many of these kids have to sell their souls and become deeply damaged goods if they want to get to the top, because it's the most reliable shortcut available.

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