Director Bryan Singer was forced to part ways from box office juggernaut Bohemian Rhapsody mid-shoot, although he still received sole director credit (Dexter Fletcher was brought on to finish the film). On Tuesday, the Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic earned six Oscar nominations, catapulting Singer back into the spotlight. The director has been plagued by allegations of sexual impropriety for years, and on Wednesday, The Atlantic published a comprehensive report of every accusation. While mentions of Singer's alleged behaviour had been dropped into stories before — Real O'Neals actor Noah Galvin mentioned them in passing in a 2016 interview with Vulture — The Atlantic's piece is the first definitive compilation of Singer's history of alleged sexual abuse of young boys.
For the piece, The Atlantic spoke to over 50 sources, including four people who had yet to come forward with claims of abuse at the hands of Singer. Three of these men, using pseudonyms "Eric," "Andy," and "Ben," declined to give their full names for the piece. The fourth, Victor Valdovinos, tried to mount a legal case against Singer in 2017 when the #MeToo movement was making headlines.
Eric was 17 when he claims Singer raped him in 1997. He told The Atlantic that at Singer's infamous parties, he was "passed around like a party favor." Andy claims he was 15 when Singer allegedly raped him at the headquarters of the Digital Entertainment Network, known as DEN, a media group that later became embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal of its own, according to a 2007 article from Radar. Ben could not remember if he was 17 or 18 when he says he entered Singer's orbit — his parents had kicked him out of their home when he was 16.
"[Singer] was predatory in that he would ply people with alcohol and drugs and then have sex with them," Ben told The Atlantic.
Victor Valdovinos claims that Singer molested him on the set of Apt Pupil, Singer's follow-up to The Usual Suspects. Valdovinos says he told his brother Edgar at the time, "That dude was, like, touching on me." He was referring to Singer.
The remaining accusations are ones that have been published before to no avail. In December 2017, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman filed a civil lawsuit against Singer alleging that the director had raped him in 2003. In response, Singer's lawyers mounted investigations into Sanchez-Guzman's finance and immigration status. In 2014, Michael Egan also filed a lawsuit against Singer. Egan withdrew his case after facing accusations of fraud. That same year, Vulture profiled Egan in a piece titled "What Happens When You Accuse a Major Hollywood Director of Rape?"
In response to the new Atlantic piece, Singer released a statement decrying it as "homophobic."
"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."
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.