Film director Bryan Singer has issued a statement denying allegations of sexual assault, as well as saying that he will “vehemently defend” himself in a lawsuit brought forward against him.
The 52-year-old – who is known for directing and producing the X-Men movies – was named in court filings which alleged that he sexually assaulted Cesar Sanchez-Guzman on a yacht back in 2003.
Sanchez-Guzman was 17 at the time, and was allegedly given a tour of the boat by Singer, according to court filings obtained by Deadline.
“During this tour, Bryan Singer lured Cesar into a room, shut the door and demanded that Cesar perform oral sex. When plaintiff refused, Bryan Singer forced him into acts of oral and anal sex,” the filing claims.
The lawsuit is seeking compensation for damages against Sanchez-Guzman, including “emotional distress, mental anguish, physical and mental pain and suffering, a decrease in his ability to enjoy life”.
The filing also asks for past and future medical expenses, as well as legal costs.
“Cesar Sanchez-Guzman apparently claims that he did not remember this alleged incident from 2003 until now,” a statement from Singer’s representative reads.
“Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end.”
The statement added that “once Bryan prevails” he will file claims for malicious prosecution against Sanchez-Guzman.
It comes in the same week Singer was fired as director from upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Singer went missing during production on several occasions, while Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach, is said to have briefly quit the film because of his behaviour.
Another source claimed that lead star Malek had complained to the studio over Singer’s “unreliability and unprofessionalism”, and that a confrontation between the two culminated in the director throwing an object.
Just hours after his removal from the film was announced, Singer released a statement claiming that 20th Century Fox had refused to allow him time off to return to the United States to care for one of his unwell parents.
He also attempted to rubbish claims that he was removed from the film following arguments with Malek.
“Rumours that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true,” he continued.
“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.”