'X-Men' director Bryan Singer targeted in sex abuse lawsuit filed by actor Michael Egan

LOS ANGELES - "X-Men" director Bryan Singer was being targeted Thursday in a federal lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a teenage boy 15 years ago, allegations the director's attorney vehemently denied.

Singer allegedly offered aspiring teen actor Michael Egan, now 31, a role in an "X-Men" film if he gave in to his sexual demands, according to the civil suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Hawaii.

Singer's attorney denied the accusations, saying the lawsuit was designed to get publicity for Egan, who is no longer in show business.

"The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit," according to attorney Marty Singer, who is no relation to the director. "We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit."

Singer, whose latest movie "X-Men: Days of Future Past" opens next month, is also known for "The Usual Suspects," "Superman Returns" and several "X-Men" films.

Egan's attorney, Jeff Herman, said he chose Hawaii to file the suit because the legislature there provided a two-year window for old sex abuse cases to be filed. The provision expires next week, he said.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged abuse occurred in 1998 and 1999 when Egan was 17.

Most of the alleged abuse took place at parties at an Encino mansion, the suit said. Other incidents allegedly happened during trips to Hawaii.

Singer "manipulated his power, wealth, and position in the entertainment industry to sexually abuse and exploit the underage plaintiff through the use of drugs, alcohol, threats and inducements which resulted in plaintiff suffering catastrophic psychological and emotional injuries," the complaint alleged.

Herman said Egan is a Nevada resident who grew up in the Midwest and moved to Los Angeles with his family as a teen to further his acting career.

Egan filed the suit without a pseudonym and his name appears in a news release issued by his attorney.

The suit contends Singer threatened to make or break Egan's Hollywood aspirations depending on whether he gave in to sexual demands.

"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children," Herman said. "This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue."

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