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X-Men Director Bryan Singer Accused of Sexually Abusing Teenage Boy

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Bryan Singer

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updated 04/17/2014 AT 07:30 PM EDT

originally published 04/17/2014 AT 11:30 AM EDT

A former child model and aspiring actor is accusing X-Men franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager.

With his voice occasionally wavering, Michael Egan III said at a news conference Thursday in Los Angeles that the molestation was reported to authorities at the time.

"I turned it in when I was kid," Egan said. "My mom turned it in to the authorities. … It fell on deaf ears. We didn't get anywhere. Then I basically buried it in me as deep as I possibly could because that's all I knew what to do.

Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said the department is looking into whether a report was made. A phone message left for an FBI spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

A lawsuit Egan filed Wednesday says the prominent director of the forthcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past forced him into sex during parties in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s.

"I had drugs put in drinks, I had liquor poured down my throat," Egan said at the press conference. "You were like a piece of meat to these people, and they'd pass you around between them."

Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement that the claims are absurd and defamatory.

"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," said Marty Singer, who said he is not related to the director.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is set for release May 23. It has an all-star cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. It's the fifth film in the blockbuster franchise.

Adds Fox Chief Communications Officer Chris Petrikin, "These are serious allegations, and they will be resolved in the appropriate forum. This is a personal matter, which Bryan Singer and his representatives are addressing separately."

The lawsuit claims Egan was lured into a sex ring with promises of auditions for acting, modeling and commercial jobs. He was paid as an actor for a digital entertainment company, but forced to have sex with adult men at parties notorious within Hollywood's entertainment industry, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit says that Bryan Singer attended several of the parties and forced Egan into sex, giving him drugs and threatening Egan when he resisted advances. It does not accuse the director of luring Egan into the ring.

The lawsuit does not specify a total dollar amount, but says Egan is seeking more than $75,000 on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.

Bryan Singer, 48, has had a lengthy career behind the camera, directing several movies including The Usual Suspects, 'Superman Returns and Jack the Giant Slayer.

Reporting by GABRIELLE OLYA and ELIZABETH LEONARD

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