Washington: Director of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Bryan Singer has responded to new allegations of him having engaged in sexual misconduct with underage boys.
A report published in Variety cited a news article that appeared in Atlantic on Wednesday according to which four men alleged that Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s. One of the men, Victor Valdovinos, said he was a 13-year-old extra on the set of the film ‘Apt Pupil’ when Singer fondled his genitals.
Singer’s attorney Andrew Brettler, however, denied to the magazine that Singer ever had sex with underage boys and disputed various details of the accusers’ accounts.
Singer also responded to the story on Wednesday, calling it a “homophobic smear piece.”
In a statement, Singer said, “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 further added, “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.”
Singer was fired two weeks before the end of production on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in December 2017. The film went on to receive five Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, including best picture and best actor for Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. Singer remains the credited director but was not nominated.
Bryan Singer is next scheduled to direct ‘Red Sonja’ for Millennium Films.
The authors of the Atlantic article, Alex French and Maximillian Potter, who are both affiliated with Esquire, in their own statement on Wednesday, said that Hearst Communications, which owns Esquire, had killed the piece.
In the statement, they said, “We have been asked why a story reported and written by two Esquire writers is being published in the Atlantic.”
They further added, “This story began with our editors at Esquire. After months of reporting, the 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 story was then killed by Hearst executives. We do not know why. We feel fortunate that the Atlantic decided to work with us, and we are grateful that the piece has gone through the Atlantic’s thoughtful editorial process, which included another rigorous fact-check and robust legal vetting. 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.”
The investigation first came into public view on October 15, when Singer posted on Instagram that Esquire was looking to write a negative article about him.