X-Men director abuse cases break down

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Copy of ND Michael Egan REUTERS Michael Egan at a news conference at a hotel in Los Angeles on April 21, 2014. Photo: Kevork Djansezian

LOS ANGELES, July 29 (Reuters) - The attorneys for the man who accused ‘X-Men’ director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was a minor have asked to be withdrawn from the case, according to a filing on Tuesday in US District Court in Hawaii.

Lawyers Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher say in the filing that their relationship with client Michael Egan “has broken down completely and cannot be repaired” and that Egan has a new attorney but will not let them leave the case.

Egan, 31, in April filed a civil lawsuit against Singer weeks before the release of his blockbuster “X-Men: Days of Future Past” accusing the 48-year-old filmmaker of raping him as a minor, a claim Singer denies.

Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement that Egan and his attorneys have asked to settle the suit for a relatively small sum compared to the millions of dollars often awarded or agreed upon in such cases.

“This was their way of trying to save face after an unsuccessful attempted shakedown of Bryan Singer,” said Marty Singer, who is not related to the director.

A source with knowledge of the case who was not authorised to speak publicly said a $100 000 (about R1.06m) settlement had been agreed to but not finalised.

Vince Finaldi, one of Egan's new attorneys, said his firm does not represent Egan in the Singer case but have been hired to advise him on any potential claims.

Herman did not respond to requests for comment.

With the help of Herman, a noted child sex abuse litigator, Egan filed lawsuits against three other entertainment executives in Hawaii. Each of the lawsuits which alleged abuse as a minor have been dismissed.

Garth Ancier, who worked at networks Fox and NBC, has also filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit in Hawaii against Egan, Herman and Gallagher.

Marty Singer said Bryan Singer will do the same.

Meanwhile, an anonymous British actor - identified only as John Doe No. 117 – has also accused Singer of abusing him

as a teenager but while Gary Goddard, a Broadway producer, remains a defendant, Bryan is no longer involved.

According to the New York Daily News, a voluntary dismissal was filed on Friday in Los Angeles.

Lawyer Marty Singer previously insisted there is no legal basis for the lawsuit and said it was filed improperly.

The filmmaker was also seeking $300 000 from the plaintiff to cover the costs of his legal fees, which are said to be "exorbitant".

The unidentified British actor's lawyer Jeffrey Herman filed a lawsuit in May against both Singer, 48, and entertainment industry executive Gary, who filed a similar motion to dismiss in June.

The actor accused the producers of abusing him in a London hotel when he was 17 years old..

Singer strenuously denied any wrongdoing and believes the allegations are a concerted effort to derail the box office gross of his recently released 'X-Men' blockbuster.

He previously said: "The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false." - BANG Showbiz and Eric Kelsey for Reuters



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