Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer has denied new allegations of sexual misconduct with underage boys.
In a report in The Atlantic on Wednesday (US time), four men alleged Singer, 53, had sexual encounters with them in the late 1990s.
They were all teenagers at the time.
The Atlantic said it investigated the X-Men franchise writer and director over 12 months, speaking to over 50 sources.
His lawyer Andrew Brettler denied to the magazine his high-profile client ever had sex with underage boys. He disputed details of the accusers’ accounts.
One of Singer’s accusers, Victor Valdovinos, said he was 13 and working as an extra on the set of 1998 movie Apt Pupil when Singer allegedly fondled his genitals.
He recalled he felt “frozen” and “speechless” after Singer’s alleged advances: “He came back to where I was in the locker room throughout the day to molest me.”
The three other men use pseudonyms in the report. One, Andy, said he was 15 when he had sex with Singer, who produced Oscar winner The Usual Suspects.
Another, Eric, claimed he began having sex with the director when he was 17 and Singer 31.
The third man, Ben, alleged he and “predatory” Singer had oral sex when he was 17 or 18.
“He would stick his hands down your pants without consent,” Ben told The Atlantic.
“He would ply people with alcohol and drugs and then have sex with them.”
One of the magazine’s sources said Singer and his friends had people who brought them boys.
“If you weren’t young and cute enough to be their boy, you could still ingratiate yourself by bringing boys to them,” the source is quoted as saying.
Responding in a statement, Singer called the story “a homophobic smear piece” timed to take advantage of the success of Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Queen biopic has made more than $800 million and is nominated for five Academy Awards, including best film.
Singer said that the “last time I posted about this subject” was when Esquire magazine had planned to publish a story “written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997.”
He said “after careful fact-checking” Esquire canned the “piece of vendetta” journalism.
The Atlantic’s story “rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention,” Singer said.
The authors of The Atlantic article, Alex French and Maximillian Potter, both work at Esquire. They said in their own statement on Wednesday they “do not know why” their magazine’s owner Hearst Communications “killed” the story.
“We feel fortunate that The Atlantic decided to work with us, and we are grateful that the piece has gone through The Atlantic’s thoughtful editorial process.”
In December 2017, Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody two weeks before production finished. He is still the credited director.
The magazine investigation became public on October 15 when Singer posted on Instagram about the proposed Esquire story.
“In today’s climate where people’s careers are being harmed by mere accusations, what Esquire is attempting to do is a reckless disregard for the truth, making assumptions that are fictional and irresponsible,” he wrote.