Bryan Singer: Bohemian Rhapsody director reportedly facing sex allegations

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Bryan Singer: Bohemian Rhapsody director reportedly facing sex allegations

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Image caption Bryan Singer said the allegations came from "a piece of vendetta journalism"

Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer has reportedly been accused of sexually assaulting and sleeping with a string of under-age boys.

The allegations come from an article in The Atlantic, which quotes four men who it says haven't spoken publicly before.

Two reportedly claim they had sex with him when he knew they were under 18, the Californian age of consent.

Singer denied the allegations and said it was a "homophobic smear" timed to exploit Bohemian Rhapsody's success.

In a statement to BBC News, he added that the story "rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention".

His attorney also told The Atlantic he categorically denied having sex with, or a preference for, under-age men.

The Atlantic story includes the new allegations as well as claims from men who had previously filed lawsuits against Singer, which have been settled or voluntarily dismissed.

Of the new allegations, one man, who was anonymous in The Atlantic story, said he and Singer had sex when he was 15, and another said Singer knew he was 17.

A third said he started a sexual relationship with the film-maker at the age of 17 or 18 and described him as a "predator" who would "stick his hands down your pants without your consent".

The Atlantic quoted another man, Victor Valdovinos, as claiming Singer repeatedly molested him on the set of the 1998 film Apt Pupil.

Singer's attorney told The Atlantic the director did not know who Mr Valdovinos was and denied that anything had happened between them. He also pointed out that Singer has never been arrested for or charged with any crime.

The Atlantic story was written by Alex French and Maximillian Potter, who are credited as Esquire magazine's writer at large and editor at large respectively.

Singer posted a statement in October saying he was aware Esquire was planning a negative article about him.

In Wednesday's statement, the X-Men and The Usual Suspects director said: "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."

BBC News has contacted Esquire for comment.

Singer was fired from directing the Queen biopic for "unreliable behaviour on set" just weeks before filming was due to wrap, but is still listed as the film's director by the Director's Guild of America.

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