X-Men director Bryan Singer has broken his silence on allegations he sexually abused a teenage boy between the years 1998 and 1999, describing the claims as a "sick and twisted shakedown".
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"The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false," he said in a statement. "I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men: Days of Future Past. This fantastic film is a labour of love and one of the greatest experiences of my career.
Bryan Singer has described the sexual abuse allegations as a "sick and twisted shakedown"
"So, out of respect to all the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I've decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film.
"However, I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shakedown it is. I want to thanks fans, friends and family for all their amazing and overwhelming support."
The filmmaker, who first gained fame directing The Usual Suspects, was accused in court papers filed on 16 April of sexually abusing a teenage boy in California and Hawaii.
Director Bryan Singer (second from left) with some of the X-Men cast
The plaintiff, Michael F. Egan III, claims the director coerced him into sexual acts by promising him a part in an X-Men film at a time when the aspiring young actor was caught up in a Hollywood sex ring.
He has since filed suit against three more entertainment executives: Garth Ancier, David Neuman and Gary Goddard.
Bryan's lawyer denied the claims when they were first filed, adding, "It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan's new movie is about to open in a few weeks."