Director Brian Singer, best known for his work on "Usual Suspects" and multiple "X-Men" films, agreed on Wednesday to pay a man accusing him of raping him when he was a teenager $150,000 in a settlement Singer's lawyers say is "purely a business" decision.
"Mr. Singer has denied even knowing this individual, let alone allegedly having interacted with him more than 15 years ago," Singer's attorney Andrew Brettler said in a statement reported by The Wrap. "The decision to resolve the matter with the bankruptcy trustee was purely a business one, as litigation costs would well exceed the amount requested by the trustee to pay off the creditors who were owed money when the debtor filed for bankruptcy."
In a lawsuit filed in December 2017, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman accused Singer of sexually assaulting him in 2003, when Sanchez-Guzman was just 17 years old. The accusation is one of multiple sexual assault allegations leveled at the famous director.
Sanchez-Guzman filed the lawsuit three years after filing for bankruptcy. The creditors reopened his case citing the potential for settlement money, of which, according to a court filing Wednesday, they are getting a large portion. "In a filing Wednesday, attorney Rory C. Livesey, representing the creditors, said they will receive just under $61,000," The Wrap reports, noting that the debt involves student loans. Sanchez-Guzman will get the remaining money.
Livesey sided with Singer, saying there was "no evidence" Sanchez-Guzman was on a yacht with Singer, where he says the incident took place.
Sanchez-Guzman is not the only person to accuse Singer of sexual assault. In January, The Atlantic published the results of a year-long investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct involving underage boys.
"We spent 12 months investigating various lawsuits and allegations against Singer," wrote The Atlantic's Alex French and Maximillian Potter. "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. 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."
Singer responded to the report with a statement to Deadline: "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," he 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. 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."