The Atlantic published a report this week detailing its disturbing findings after a year-long investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against teen boys by “X-Men” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer.
“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.)”
Another man featured in the article who did allow his identity to be revealed is Victor Valdovinos, who says Singer molested him when he was just 13 years old on the set of “Apt Pupil,” an allegation which Singer categorically denies like all of the others.
“The accusations against Singer cover a spectrum,” French and Potter report. “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.”
Describing the portrait that emerged of Singer as that of “a troubled man who surrounded himself with vulnerable teenage boys, many of them estranged from their families,” French and Potter stress that their investigation also revealed that “Singer didn’t act alone; he was aided by friends and associates who brought him young men. And he was abetted, in a less direct way, by an industry in which a record of producing hits confers immense power.”
The report begins by detailing the accusations of Valdovinos, who alleges that Singer molested him in the spring of 1997 when Valdovinos was in 7th grade. “He was 13 years old. He hadn’t yet had his first kiss,” French and Potter note.
“Every time he had a chance—three times—he would go back there [the locker room where Singer allegedly asked him to remain]… He was always touching my chest,” Valdovinos told The Atlantic. The director eventually “grabbed my genitals and started masturbating it” and “rubbed his front part on me,” Valdovinos said, adding, “He did it all with this smile.”
The report follows a lawsuit against Singer filed in December by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who says Singer raped him in 2003 when he was 17.
Singer has categorically denied accusations of sexual misconduct.
UPDATE: Singer responded to The Atlantic’s report in a statement to Deadline Wednesday.
“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.”