• Entertainment

X-Men Director Bryan Singer Accused of Teen Sex Abuse

1 minute read

X-Men director Bryan Singer stands accused of sexually abusing an aspiring teen actor 15 years ago, according to a civil suit filed in U.S. District Court in Hawaii Wednesday.

Singer, 48, one of Hollywood’s most successful directors and producers, allegedly offered the plaintiff a film role in the Marvel Comics franchise if the the teen submitted to his sexual demands, and threatened to destroy his career if he refused.

The director’s legal representative said the “absurd and defamatory” accusations were “completely without merit” and he was certain his client would be vindicated.

“It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan’s new movie is about to open in a few weeks,” said the attorney.

Most of the alleged sex abuse was supposed to have taken place at parties at a California mansion in 1998 and 1999 when the plaintiff was 17, according to court papers.

New York-born Singer rose to international prominence with his 1995 breakthrough smash hit The Usual Suspects, which won two Oscars.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Charlie Campbell at charlie.campbell@time.com