In an exhaustive and exhausting investigative report, The Atlantic has surfaced new allegations against Bryan Singer, director of Bohemian Rhapsody, The Usual Suspects, a number of the X-Men movies and many more. Singer’s entire career has been hounded by allegations of sexual misconduct, frequently involving teenage boys not old enough to meet California’s age of consent laws, but powerful legal teams and Hollywood’s culture of protecting abusers enabled Singer’s ongoing rise in the film industry.
The Atlantic piece is lengthy and brutal, in which multiple men come forward alleging abuse at Singer’s hands.
One, Victor Valdovinos, says he was 13 years old when Singer sexually assaulted him on the set of Apt Pupil in 1997. The Atlantic notes that many details of Valdovinos’ story were corroborated by other sources. Valdovinos, who has since had difficulty maintaining a steady job, told The Atlantic “What if he never did this to me—would I be a different person? Would I be more successful? Would I be married?”
Another man who asked that his name be withheld says he was 16 when Singer engaged in sexual acts with him. “I was a fat kid, and socially awkward,” he says. “But then I was getting all this attention. It led me to believe that was the way it’s supposed to be—that the way to get attention is to be sexual.” Another man from the set of Apt Pupil says he was about 15 when Singer had sex with him. That man ended up getting addicted to drugs and doing jail time for dealing, though he has since been released and is “happily employed.” Nevertheless, he says, “I sort of wonder if I’d never met … Bryan, if I would have ever got into the drugs.”
There are more stories and many more ugly details in the piece itself. Tellingly, two of Singer’s friends recount a 2016 New Year’s party in which the filmmaker dragged his young boyfriend down a hallway by his hair. “Many of us regarded it as just another Bryan Singer moment,” one of the friends told The Atlantic. “That kind of behavior—out here, people put up with it.”
Singer was fired from the set of his most recent movie Bohemian Rhapsody with just three weeks of filming left, supposedly for failing to appear onset. That movie nevertheless has gone on to score a Golden Globe for Best Drama and a Best Picture nomination from the Oscars on Tuesday.
Lawyers for Singer denied the allegations, and Singer himself took to Instagram, saying that “in today’s climate where people’s careers are being harmed by mere accusations, what [these reporters are] attempting to do is a reckless disregard for the truth, making assumptions that are fictional and irresponsible.”