Judge sets hearing in Singer case
9:03am Friday 23rd May 2014 in © Press Association 2014
A federal judge in Hawaii has set a hearing on a motion by X-Men director Bryan Singer to dismiss a sexual abuse lawsuit from a man who claims he was raped as a 17-year-old.
US District Judge Susan Oki Mollway set the hearing for July 7.
It came one day after Singer's lawyers moved to throw out the lawsuit, claiming the accusations are false and fabricated. It also came just before the latest film in the blockbuster franchise, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, premieres in cinemas across the United States.
Michael Egan III is accusing the filmmaker of abusing him several times during trips to Hawaii in 1999. Egan also accuses Singer of abusing him earlier in California as part of a Hollywood sex ring run by another man convicted of luring minors across state lines for sex.
As part of his motion, Singer filed a signed declaration saying he was never in Hawaii during the time Egan claimed in the lawsuit and didn't have sexual contact with him.
The director said he was working on pre-production and shooting the first X-Men film in the Toronto area during the time Egan claimed the abuses occurred, and never went to Hawaii during the three-month span.
"Except for a short trip to visit friends in New England in August 1999 and a trip to Los Angeles for a few days in September 1999 to attend to business matters association with the picture, I was in Canada during the entire three-month period between August 1, 1999 and October 31, 1999," Singer said.
In the motion, Singer's lawyers said documents and Egan's testimony from a previous case show neither Singer nor Egan were in Hawaii.
Egan maintains he was in Hawaii with Singer and his mother maintains she authorised at least two of Egan's trips, Egan's lawyer Jeff Herman said in a statement.
Herman declined comment on Egan's previous testimony and Singer's assertion he was never in Hawaii.
"At the appropriate time and in the appropriate venue, we will respond," Herman said.
The Hawaii allegations are key to the case because of a state law that opened a window for victims of child abuse to come forward with civil lawsuits on cases that previously passed the statute of limitations. Egan's lawsuit was filed just before that window closed.