Responding to a bombshell report in The Atlantic alleging he had sexually molested underage boys for nearly two decades, Hollywood director Bryan Singer says it's all just a "homophobic smear."
In a message sent to Deadline by one of Singer's representatives, the "X-Men" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" director said that the recent piece in The Atlantic is the work of homophobic journalists taking advantage of his most recent film's financial and award-winning success.
"The last time I posted about this subject, Esquire magazine was preparing to publish an article written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997," Singer said. "After careful fact-checking and, in consideration of the lack of credible sources, Esquire chose not to publish this piece of vendetta journalism."
"That didn’t stop this writer from selling it to The Atlantic," continued the statement. "It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success."
Despite Singer's claims that The Atlantic stooped to a "low standard of journalistic integrity," the magazine's own report highlights the painstaking work employed to get the story published.
"We spent 12 months investigating various lawsuits and allegations against Singer," The Atlantic's Alex French and Maximillian Potter report. "In total, we spoke with more than 50 sources, including four men who have never before told their stories to reporters. A man we’ll call Eric told us that he was 17 in 1997 when he and Singer had sex at a party at the director’s house; another we’ll call Andy says he was only 15 that same year, when he and Singer had sex in a Beverly Hills mansion. Both men say Singer, who was then in his early 30s, knew they were under 18, the age of consent in California. (They asked The Atlantic to conceal their identity for fear of retaliation, and because they didn’t want certain details about their past made public.)"
"The accusations against Singer cover a spectrum," the report continued. "Some of the alleged victims say they were seduced by the director while underage; others say they were raped. The victims we interviewed told us these experiences left them psychologically damaged, with substance-abuse problems, depression, and PTSD."
Bryan Singer was fired from directing "Bohemian Rhapsody" after most principal photography had wrapped, though he still enjoys full credit as the director. Knowing that Bryan Singer's name could severely harm the film's Oscar opportunities, the producers and cast have gone to great lengths to distance him from the finished product. Upon winning the award for Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes, producer Graham King made no mention of Singer and simply thanked the hardworking cast and crew for bringing the movie to life.
"The power of movies is that it brings us all together," the producer said. "Freddie Mercury and Queen did that so successfully through their music and that’s what we always wanted to accomplish in the cinema."
"Bohemian Rhapsody" star Rami Malek also gave no mention of Singer upon winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor.