The Atlantic has published a lengthy report on Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer containing new allegations of sexual misconduct including sex with underage boys. The magazine says that reporters Alex French and Maximillian Potter consulted “more than 50 sources” during their yearlong investigation into accusations against Singer.
Those sources include Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who is suing Singer for allegedly forcing him into oral and anal sex during a yacht party in 2003, when Sanchez-Guzman was 17. (The lawsuit is still pending due to a reopened bankruptcy case.) He told the Atlantic that after the encounter, Singer approached him and said, “Nobody is going to believe you,” promising to help Sanchez-Guzman break into the film industry. There are also four new accusers speaking on the record about Singer for the first time, some of whom chose to use pseudonyms. These are:
• Victor Valdovinos, who accuses Singer of molesting him in 1997 when he was 13 years old and an extra on the set of Apt Pupil. Singer was involved in another lawsuit that accused Apt Pupil’s filmmakers of asking minors to remove their G-strings before appearing on camera in a shower scene. It was ultimately thrown out.
• “Ben,” who says he attended pool parties at Singer’s home in the ’90s when he was a teenager. “He would stick his hands down your pants without your consent,” he told the Atlantic. “He was predatory in that he would ply people with alcohol and drugs and then have sex with them […] it wasn’t a hold-you-down-and-rape-you situation.”
• “Eric,” who recounts allegedly having sex with Singer on and off for five years, beginning when he was 17. “If you weren’t young and cute enough to be their boy, you could still ingratiate yourself by bringing boys to them,” he said of Singer’s social circle. “That’s how I met Bryan, and that’s how I wound up at the den estate—people trying to ingratiate themselves.”
• “Andy,” who says he was 15 when he and Singer had sex in 1997 at Singer’s home in Beverley Hills. He says he knew Singer through Marc Collins-Rector, with whom he also says he had a sexual relationship as an underage teenager. Collins-Rector was indicted in 2000 on charges “related to transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of sex.”
Singer’s lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler, told the Atlantic that Singer has never been arrested for or charged with any crime, and that Singer “categorically denies ever having sex with, or a preference for, underage men.” Singer issued a statement Wednesday, after the article’s publication:
The last time I posted about this subject, Esquire magazine was preparing to publish an article written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997. 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.
Singer’s name was conspicuously absent from Golden Globes acceptances speeches for Bohemian Rhapsody. He was replaced as director by Dexter Fletcher shortly before production wrapped; the Hollywood Reporter claimed he was fired for clashing with the studio and star Rami Malek, but Singer has said that he was caring for a sick parent.
Subscribe to Slate’s Culture newsletter for the best of movies, TV, books, music, and more, delivered twice a week.