Bryan Singer, who was fired from directing 20th Century Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on December 4, has been named as the defendant in a rape lawsuit filed today in Washington state. The plaintiff, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, claims that Singer sexually assaulted him on a yacht in approximately 2003, when he was 17 years old.
Allegedly, after meeting Singer at a yacht party, Sanchez-Guzman was invited to tour the vessel, owned by Lester Waters, who is identified in the filing as “a wealthy tech investor who frequently hosted parties for young gay males in the Seattle area.” (According to LinkedIn, Waters was the chief technology officer for Meridian Group in Seattle at the time.) The yacht was bound for Lake Union and Lake Washington, and alcohol was served onboard.
Mid-tour, Sanchez-Guzman said Singer guided them into the closed-off master bedroom. Per the complaint, “Bryan Singer then forced Cesar to the floor, shoved Cesar’s face against his crotch area and demanded Cesar perform oral sex on him. Bryan Singer pulled out his penis, smacked Cesar in the face with it and forced it into Cesar’s mouth. Cesar pleaded with him to stop, however he continued to force Cesar to perform oral sex, causing Cesar to choke.”
Singer then laid Sanchez-Guzman on the bed, performed oral sex on him, and then anally penetrated him despite the boys cries for him to stop.
The plaintiff lives in King County, Washington, where the case was filed. Sanchez-Guzman is represented by Jeff Herman, who previously represented two men who filed similar lawsuits against Singer in 2014. Michael Egan III and “John Doe No. 117” said that when they were underage, Singer raped them in Kailua, Hawaii, and London, England, respectively. Those plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their cases shortly after filing, and Egan III was later imprisoned for an unrelated matter.
Singer deemed Egan’s allegations as “outrageous, vicious and completely false,” adding that he was not in Hawaii on the dates in question. Singer’s lawyer, Marty Singer, dismissed that suit as a publicity stunt. “This matter is nothing more than the attorney seeking to get his 15 minutes of fame by sending out a press release with his ‘media consultant’ yesterday following up with a press conference today,” Singer told Variety in 2014. “Attorneys who try cases don’t hold press conferences.”
Herman specializes in representing victims in sex abuse cases, which include the suit against former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, New York financier Jeffrey Epstein, and multiple cases against the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Miami, including a $100 million verdict against a Miami priest.
Singer’s attorney Andrew Brettler of Lavely & Singer, denied the charges:
Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end. Cesar Sanchez-Guzman apparently claims that he did not remember this alleged incident from 2003 until now. Significantly, when Sanchez-Guzman filed for bankruptcy only a few years ago, he failed to disclose this alleged claim when he was supposed to identify all of his assets, but conveniently, now that the bankruptcy court discharged all of his debts, he is able to recall the alleged events. The attorney behind this lawsuit is the same lawyer who represented Michael Egan, the convicted felon who sued Bryan Singer in 2014. In the end, Egan was forced to dismiss that case once the facts came out and his story completely fell apart. Egan and his attorneys then found themselves as defendants in a malicious prosecution action brought by some of the individuals who Egan previously sued. In an apology to those individuals, Egan’s attorney acknowledged the claims that had been filed were ‘untrue and provably false.’ Notwithstanding his track record, this same lawyer is coming after Bryan again. We are confident that this case will turn out the same way the Egan case did. And once Bryan prevails, he will pursue his own claims for malicious prosecution.
IndieWire also reached out to Waters for comment. We will update with any response.
Read IndieWire’s timeline on Singer’s rocky career here.