On the day a long-rumored magazine article appeared in which numerous people accused longtime Hollywood director Bryan Singer of sexual misconduct, the Bohemian Rhapsody director has come out swinging against the story.
In a statement issued to Deadline, Singer referred to one of the reporters behind the story in the Atlantic as “a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997.”
“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 also stated that Esquire, which was originally rumored last fall as the magazine that was working on the expose, had chosen not to publish it, with the authors later taking the piece to the Atlantic.
The Atlantic article, authored by Alex French and Maximillian Potter, quotes dozens of accusers alleging that Singer abused them, including some who were underage at the time. Singer has been accused of such misconduct in lawsuits multiple times over the years, but never convicted of a crime or definitively found in a court of law to have committed any wrongdoing.
'Bohemian Rhapsody' director Bryan Singer issues a statement after 4 more men say he sexually abused them as teens.— Complex (@Complex) January 23, 2019
"This homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of [Bohemian Rhapsody's] success.” https://t.co/l5S6B6EysQ pic.twitter.com/B77wcCJohQ
Singer’s career as a top director therefore continued, and while Singer was fired as director of Bohemian Rhapsody near the end of production in 2017, he remains the hit film’s credited director. Singer, however, has not participated in any of the promotion of the film, nor has he attended any awards shows, even as Bohemian Rhapsody has received honors. The film was nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards, the day before the Atlantic piece appeared, although Singer did not receive a nomination for Best Picture.
Esquire has not yet shared its side of the story of why it did not go ahead with publishing the piece. The reporters, who are both Esquire staffers, said in a statement via Twitter Wednesday that their story was “approved for publication” by Esquire’s lawyers and editors, but that executives with the magazine’s parent company, Hearst, later killed it for unknown reasons. They were then allowed to take the story to the Atlantic.
The switch in media outlets is reminiscent of the episode in 2017 when journalist Ronan Farrow was working on a story about Harvey Weinstein’s abuse of women for NBC News, and disagreements over the reporting led to Farrow taking the article to the New Yorker, which published it, and many other stories by Farrow about Weinstein and other accused abusers in both Hollywood and in the world of politics.