Beverly Hills, CA -
The three Hollywood executives named in the latest “sex abuse’’ lawsuits are unanimous in one thing: they say they didn’t do it. Garth Ancier, perhaps the best known of these threeas a former Fox, NBC, and CNN honcho, sent a statement to FOX 11 News through a representative saying, in part “All of the allegations made by the plaintiff against Garth Ancier are demonstrably untrue, and we are confident the courts will agree when the evidence is presented.” David Neuman, another veteran of Hollywood who spent time at Walt Disney television and also worked as chief programming officer for CNN, tweeted his response: “… the disgusting allegations made against me are COMPLETELY FALSE. Also very shocking in that they don't just stretch the truth, they are whole-cloth lies with zero basis in reality or truth.” Add to that a statement from off-Broadway producer Gary Goddarns’ attorney, who said Goddard himself was out of town, but ''…based on what we have heard, the allegations are without merit. Once we have seen the complaint we will respond appropriately."
If you haven’t been following this story, it broke last week. These latest three lawsuits, filed by a former actor named Mike Egan, now 31, come five days after Egan sued X-Men director Bryan Singer. In that suit, Egan made graphic allegations that when he was a teen of 15, 16, and 17, he was sexually abused by men at a series of parties at an estate in Encino and also on trips to Hawaii,even threatened with guns. His mother made an emotional appearance with him to support him, claiming 14 years ago she tried to get this story out but nobody listened.
14 years ago, Egan was a plaintiff in a suit against the owner of the house in Encino, in which Egan won a judgement. Neither Singer nor any of these other three were named back then, for reasons Egan and his attorney and his mother could not or would not explain.Bryan Singer’s attorney, the very high powered Marty Singer (no relation) labeled the claims in the suit “absurd and defamatory”, saying on the dates of the Hawaii trip in particular Singer was shooting a movie in Toronto.
(FOX 11 / AP) A man who has accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was a teen sued three more entertainment industry figures Monday, claiming they also molested him.
The allegations in the latest lawsuits filed by Michael Egan III are substantially similar to his legal action against Singer. That lawsuit accuses the director of abusing him between the ages of 15 and 17 in Los Angeles and Hawaii.
Monday's lawsuits were filed in federal court in Hawaii against former Fox television executive Garth Ancier, theater producer Gary Wayne Goddard, and David A. Neuman, a former television executive with Current TV and Disney.
Alan Grodin, an attorney for Goddard, said the executive was out of the country and had not seen the lawsuit.
"Based on what we have heard, the allegations are without merit," Grodin wrote in a statement. "Once we have seen the complaint we will respond appropriately."
Ancier did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.
Neuman could not be reached for comment. Phone numbers associated with him have been disconnected, and he did not immediately respond to a message sent through the social networking site LinkedIn.
The lawsuits were filed in Hawaii under a law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in civil sex abuse cases.
Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, has denied the director abused Egan, calling the allegations defamatory. He has said the director was not in Hawaii when Egan says he was abused and was instead working on production for the first "X-Men" film.
None of the men has been criminally charged, and the statute of limitations for any such charges has passed.
Ancier was the founding programmer at the Fox network, later going on to create programming for The WB, and was a top executive at NBC Entertainment.
Egan, 31, appeared at a news conference Monday alongside his mother, who tearfully described her efforts to report alleged abuses to the FBI in 1999 and 2000.
Bonnie Mound said she wrote several letters to FBI agents in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., urging them to take action. She questioned why those letters and information her son provided in interviews with an agent did not result in criminal charges.
The FBI has said it could not discuss specifically what Egan told them, however, the agency denied last week that it had ignored any information about Singer.
"The suggestion that the FBI ignored a minor victim, or evidence involving the sexual victimization of a child, is ludicrous," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a statement. She reiterated the statement after Egan's news conference Monday.
Mound denied her son's lawsuits were motivated by anything other than holding the defendants accountable.
"It's not about money," Mound said, breaking down in tears.
Egan said he spent several years masking his pain by drinking. He stopped drinking within the past year, entered therapy and sought out a lawyer who would pursue a case.
The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse but is naming Egan because he is speaking publicly about his allegations.
Egan's attorney, Jeff Herman, said he had spent six months investigating before filing the lawsuits but acknowledged he didn't have all the investigative files or Singer's records that might show the director wasn't in Hawaii during the timeframe. Herman said he has asked Singer's lawyers for those records.
Egan claims he was lured into a sex ring run by a former digital entertainment company executive, Marc Collins-Rector, with promises of auditions for acting, modeling and commercial jobs. He was put on the company's payroll as an actor and forced to have sex with adult men at parties within Hollywood's entertainment industry, the lawsuit said.
Collins-Rector pleaded guilty in 2004 to transporting five minors across state lines to have sex.
Phone numbers listed for Collins-Rector have been disconnected and attempts to reach him for comment last week were unsuccessful. Records maintained in Florida, where Collins-Rector is required to register as a sex offender, show that in 2008 his last known address was in the Dominican Republic.
From Phil Shuman:
Will we ever know what really happened?
Bonnie Mound was in tears, hugging her son, Mike Egan, as she faced a barrage of TV cameras and reporters in a small, hot, overcrowded meeting room at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. She was there to defend that young man, now 31, who is the plaintiff in four recently filed graphic lawsuits alleging that as a teenager he was raped and sexually molested over a period of about three years by powerful Hollywood types who told him, in so many words, this is how the game is played if you want to succeed in showbiz.
"You think this about fame?" Bonnie asked.'' There's been some talk Mike wants his 15 minutes of fame. What about this is fame?'' You could feel her pain. It was a very compelling moment. Mike says the alleged abuse went on for about two years before a couple of friends who were also being victimized went with him to his Mom and told her what was going on. Bonnie claims the LAPD and the FBI didn't really do much at the time, though the owner of the house, a man named Mark Rector Collins was sued and eventually prosecuted by the feds for bringing boys across state lines for sexual purposes. One point that reporters kept bringing up is the fact that back in 2000, when the allegations came to light, neither director Bryan singer, sued last week, or the three men named in lawsuits today, Garth Ancier, David Neuman, and Gary Goddard were named.
Egan's lawyer, a specialist in abuse cases from Florida named Jeff Herman, said he couldn't really explain that. Mom says she gave authorities all those names back then, but nothing was done. The FBI issued a statement denying that,the LAPD passes the buck to the FBI and won't say anything, meantime lawyer Herman believes this will be a ''watershed moment'' that will empower similar victims of abuse to come forward, unafraid of repercussions.... ''pedophiles'' Bonnie Mound calls them. Maybe. Maybe not. It certainly is a sensational story, much worse than the proverbial ''casting couch'' of Hollywood, says the lawyer, because this involves minors. Mike, who says he works as an assistant with his brothers Vegas business and has a friend who tried to kill himself over all this, claims he's been threatened over the past few days, since filing the suit against Singer, ''I wouldn't wish what I went through as a child (actually a teenager to be precise) on my worst enemy'.
(Note: Singer's attorney called the suit last week ''absurd and defamatory.'' At the time this blog was posted we had made several attempts to contact the three men sued today and so far they haven't responded.''))
Less than a week after "X-Men" director Bryan Singer was targeted in a federal lawsuit accusing him of molesting a teenage boy, an attorney today accused three more Hollywood executives of being part of a sex ring that abused the teen.
Jeff Herman, an attorney for victims of sexual abuse, said he filed lawsuits on behalf of Michael Egan III against Garth Ancier, David Neuman and Gary Goddard.
Ancier is a media executive who programmed broadcasting for television networks Fox, The WB -- now The CW -- and NBC Entertainment. He is also a former president of BBC Worldwide America.
Neuman is a past president of Walt Disney Television. Goddard heads a design firm in Los Angeles and has produced off-Broadway shows.
Attempts to reach Ancier and Neuman for comment were unsuccessful. Goddard's attorney, Alan Grodin, said his client was out of the country and the law firm hadn't yet seen the complaint.
However, "based on what we have heard, the allegations are without merit," Grodin said. "Once we have seen the complaint we will respond appropriately."
Herman filed a separate lawsuit last week against Singer, alleging the director of the forthcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past" forced aspiring actor Egan into sex during parties in California and Hawaii when he was a teenager in the late 1990s.
"What we see is that kids are being sexually (exploited) in the same way adults are in Hollywood. They're very vulnerable," Herman said. Egan, who is now 31, contends Singer and others involved in the so-called Hollywood sex ring gave boys alcohol and drugs and promised them roles in television shows and movies if they submitted to sexual demands.
"I would say, he won't have another chance to hurt another victim," Egan said at a news conference today in Beverly Hills, with his mother wiping away tears beside him. "He won't have a chance to hurt another child. And for the people who have been abused by the individuals that have been named, please come forward."
Herman said the civil lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court in Hawaii because the legislature there provided a two-year window for old sex abuse cases to be filed. The provision expires Thursday. Singer's attorney denied the accusations against his client and said he plans to countersue. "The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit," according to attorney Marty Singer, who is no relation to the director. "We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit." The director is also known for "The Usual Suspects," "Superman Returns" and several "X-Men" films.
According to the lawsuits, the alleged abuse occurred in 1998 and 1999 when Egan was 17. Most of the alleged abuse took place at parties at an Encino mansion, Herman alleged in court papers. Other abuse allegedly happened during trips to Hawaii.
Bryan Singer "manipulated his power, wealth and position in the entertainment industry to sexually abuse and exploit the underage plaintiff through the use of drugs, alcohol, threats and inducements which resulted in plaintiff suffering catastrophic psychological and emotional injuries," the complaint alleged.
Egan is a Nevada resident who grew up in the Midwest and moved to Los Angeles with his family as a teen to further his acting career, the attorney said.
Egan -- who is no longer in show business -- filed the suit without a pseudonym and appeared at news conferences Thursday and this afternoon. The suit filed last week contends Bryan Singer threatened to make or break Egan's Hollywood aspirations depending on whether he gave in to sexual demands.