Lawsuit accuses entertainment figures of sex abuse
- Article by: ANTHONY McCARTNEY
- Associated Press
- April 21, 2014 - 9:25 PM
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — A man who has accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was a teen sued three more entertainment industry figures Monday, claiming they also molested him.
The allegations in the latest lawsuits filed by Michael Egan III are substantially similar to his legal action against Singer. That lawsuit accuses the director of abusing him between the ages of 15 and 17 in Los Angeles and Hawaii.
Monday's lawsuits were filed in federal court in Hawaii against former Fox television executive Garth Ancier, theater producer Gary Wayne Goddard, and David A. Neuman, a former television executive with Current TV and Disney.
Alan Grodin, an attorney for Goddard, said the executive was out of the country and had not seen the lawsuit.
"Based on what we have heard, the allegations are without merit," Grodin wrote in a statement. "Once we have seen the complaint we will respond appropriately."
Ancier did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.
Neuman could not be reached for comment. Phone numbers associated with him have been disconnected, and he did not immediately respond to a message sent through the social networking site LinkedIn.
The lawsuits were filed in Hawaii under a law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in civil sex abuse cases.
Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, has denied the director abused Egan, calling the allegations defamatory. He has said the director was not in Hawaii when Egan says he was abused and was instead working on production for the first "X-Men" film.
None of the men has been criminally charged, and the statute of limitations for any such charges has passed.
Ancier was the founding programmer at the Fox network, later going on to create programming for The WB, and was a top executive at NBC Entertainment.
Egan, 31, appeared at a news conference Monday alongside his mother, who tearfully described her efforts to report alleged abuses to the FBI in 1999 and 2000.
Bonnie Mound said she wrote several letters to FBI agents in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., urging them to take action. She questioned why those letters and information her son provided in interviews with an agent did not result in criminal charges.
The FBI has said it could not discuss specifically what Egan told them, however, the agency denied last week that it had ignored any information about Singer.
"The suggestion that the FBI ignored a minor victim, or evidence involving the sexual victimization of a child, is ludicrous," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a statement. She reiterated the statement after Egan's news conference Monday.
Mound denied her son's lawsuits were motivated by anything other than holding the defendants accountable.
"It's not about money," Mound said, breaking down in tears.
Egan said he spent several years masking his pain by drinking. He stopped drinking within the past year, entered therapy and sought out a lawyer who would pursue a case.
The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse but is naming Egan because he is speaking publicly about his allegations.
Egan's attorney, Jeff Herman, said he had spent six months investigating before filing the lawsuits but acknowledged he didn't have all the investigative files or Singer's records that might show the director wasn't in Hawaii during the timeframe. Herman said he has asked Singer's lawyers for those records.
Egan claims he was lured into a sex ring run by a former digital entertainment company executive, Marc Collins-Rector, with promises of auditions for acting, modeling and commercial jobs. He was put on the company's payroll as an actor and forced to have sex with adult men at parties within Hollywood's entertainment industry, the lawsuit said.
Collins-Rector pleaded guilty in 2004 to transporting five minors across state lines to have sex.
Phone numbers listed for Collins-Rector have been disconnected and attempts to reach him for comment last week were unsuccessful. Records maintained in Florida, where Collins-Rector is required to register as a sex offender, show that in 2008 his last known address was in the Dominican Republic.
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