Bryan Singer reaches settlement of rape claim (Reports).
Bryan Singer has settled an allegation by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, a man who claimed Singer raped him in 2003, when Sanchez-Guzman was just 17 years old. Sanchez-Guzman filed the suit against Singer in 2017; the filmmaker vehemently denied the allegations at the time, claiming he did not even know the accuser. Now, according to the Los Angeles Times, Singer has agreed to pay Sanchez-Guzman $150,000. But Singer’s legal team notes that the settlement is for business reasons, linking it to the fact that Sanchez-Guzman filed for bankruptcy in 2014, and later listed claims against Singer in his bankruptcy case.
“The decision to resolve the matter with the bankruptcy trustee was purely a business one, as litigation costs would well exceed the amount requested by the trustee to pay off the creditors who were owed money when the debtor filed for bankruptcy,” said Andrew Brettler, an attorney at Lavely & Singer, which represents Singer, in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
In his 2017 suit, Sanchez-Guzman claimed that when he was 17 years old, he met Singer at a yacht party. He claimed that Singer gave him a tour of the yacht, then forced himself on the teenager. He also claimed that afterward, Singer said he could help him with his acting career, and told him to keep silent about the alleged attack.
In a statement at the time of the suit, Brettler said Singer “categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end…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.”
Sanchez-Guzman is not the first person to accuse Singer of sexual abuse, nor was he the last. Earlier this year The Atlantic published an investigative report that featured interviews with several alleged victims of Singer, some of whom claim that the director sexually abused them when they were underage. One of the accusers, Victor Valdovinos, claimed that Singer molested him when he was just 13 years old. He allegedly met the filmmaker when Singer came to his middle school to shoot scenes for Apt Pupil, casting some of the students, including Valdovinos, as extras. Singer characterized the Atlantic report as a “homophobic smear piece,” denying all the allegations therein. But after years of mounting sexual misconduct allegations (all of which Singer denies), the director has seen his career take a few serious hits, as he has been removed from high-profile projects.