'Bohemian Rhapsody' director Bryan Singer calls the Atlantic article that accused him of sex with underage boys a 'homophobic smear piece'

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  • Director Bryan Singer responded on Wednesday to a report published by The Atlantic in which he is accused of having sexual encounters with underage boys.
  • Singer called the article a “homophobic smear piece” and claimed the writer “has a bizzarre obsession” with him.
  • The reporters also released a statement on Wednesday regarding the piece and why it was published in The Atlantic and not Esquire, where it was originally intended to be published.
  • “After months of reporting, the story went through Esquire’s editorial process, which included fact-checking and vetting by a Hearst attorney, and the story was approved for publicationm,” the statement said. “The story was then killed by Hearst executives. We do not know why.”

Director Bryan Singer responded to an Atlantic report published on Wednesday, which alleged years of sexual misconduct by the director, and included new claims against him that he had sexual encounters with underage boys.

After publication, Singer blasted the article as a “homophobic smear piece” and characterised it as “vendetta journalism.”

Singer provided this statement to Business Insider on Wednesday through his attorney, Andrew Brettler:

“The last time I posted about this subject, Esquire magazine was preparing to publish an article written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997. After careful fact-checking and, in consideration of the lack of credible sources, Esquire chose not to publish this piece of vendetta journalism. That didn’t stop this writer from selling it to The Atlantic. It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success.”

Singer had previously issued a denial in October of allegations he claimed would be laid against him in an Esquire article, which he said would “attempt to rehash false accusations and bogus lawsuits.”

The reporters credited on the Atlantic story, Alex French and Maximillian Potter, are a writer at large and editor at large for Esquire, respectively. They issued their own statement on Wednesday regarding the piece and why it ran in The Atlantic and not Esquire.

Here is the statement:

“We have been asked why a story reported and written by two Esquire writers is being published in The Atlantic. This story began with our editors at Esquire. After months of reporting, the story went through Esquire’s editorial process, which included fact-checking and vetting by a Hearst attorney, and the story was approved for publication. The story was then killed by Hearst executives. We do not know why. 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, which included another rigorous fact-check and robust legal vetting. We are most grateful that the alleged victims now have a chance to be heard and we hope the substance of their allegations remains the focus.”

Esquire was not immediately available to comment to Business Insider.

In the Atlantic piece, four new accusers came forward who had never spoken publicly about their experiences with Singer. The only one to allow his real name to be used, Victor Valdovinos, claimed that Singer molested him on the set of one of his earliest movies, “Apt Pupil,” in 1997 when Valdovinos was 13 and Singer was 31.

Through his attorney, Singer told The Atlantic that he did not know who Valdovinos was and denied the allegation.

One anonymous accuser, going by the name Andy, claimed Singer had sex with him him at a Beverly Hills mansion when Andy was 15 in the late 1990s, and other times after that.

Singer is also currently facing a lawsuit from Cesar Sanchez-Guzman filed in December 2017. Sanchez-Guzman claimed Singer raped him when he was 17 in 2003 at a yacht party.

Singer was fired late into production on “Bohemian Rhapsody” for repeatedly being absent from the set, but he remains the credited director on the movie. It was nominated for five Oscars on Tuesday, including best picture. He’s set to next direct Millennium’s “Red Sonja” movie.

Read more of Business Insider’s coverage of Bryan Singer:

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