The Bryan Singer sexual abuse scandal is quickly looking similar to the Harvey Weinstein case, meaning very powerful people in high places have been protecting him from damning exposure.
On Wednesday, The Atlantic published a bombshell report alleging that "X-Men" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" director Bryan Singer had sexually abused teenage boys for nearly two decades. Originally, the report was to be published in Esquire; however, according to reporters Maximillian Potter and Alex French, the story had been torpedoed by Hearst Communications executives for unknown reasons (Hearst Comms owns Esquire).
"We have been asked why a story reported and written by two Esquire writers is being published in The Atlantic," the reporters said in a statement. "This story began with our editors at Esquire. After months of reporting, this story went through Esquire's editorial process, which included fact-checking and vetting by a Hearst attorney, and the story was approved for publication."
The reporters said the Hearst executives killed the story with no explanation as to why and thanked The Atlantic for publishing their carefully-crafted story.
"The story was then killed by Hearst executives. We do not know why," said the reporters. "We are most grateful that the alleged victims now have a chance to be heard and we hope the substance of their allegations remains the focus."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesman for Heart Magazines and Esquire did not respond to a request for comment.
Bryan Singer denied the sexual abuse allegations on Wednesday, highlighting the fact that Esquire turned the story down while accusing the journalists of homophobia.
"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 stated. "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. It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity."
Singer added, "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."
During the height of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017, a report surfaced that The New York Times had planned to run a story about his alleged history of sexual assault in 2004 before it was ultimately killed by pressure from the disgraced movie mogul and other industry insiders.
Later, Ronan Farrow published an even more shocking report detailing how Weinstein kept his alleged victims quiet through the use of privately employed spies. From the report:
The firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature.
Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan. The same operative, using a different false identity and implying that she had an allegation against Weinstein, met twice with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press. In other cases, journalists directed by Weinstein or the private investigators interviewed women and reported back the details.