Bryan Singer’s former assistant and partner has accused him of’ mental and emotional abuse,’ revealing details of their reportedly ‘traumatizing’ sexual connection, which began when he was 18 and the filmmaker was 43. Blake Stuerman, now 30, said in an essay published by Variety that he met the X-Men director in New York City in 2009, just a few days after his 18th birthday, and that their first sexual encounter happened soon after.
According to reporting by the Daily Mail, Stuerman said he later learned that Singer ‘had a reputation for liking very young-looking men,’ himself included.
According to his account, the disgraced filmmaker ‘controlled’ every aspect of his life during the four years they spent together.
He also claimed he ‘lived in fear’ of Singer, now 56, after witnessing him attack a man at a house party in 2012, saying he threatened to kill him if he ever left.
Singer’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, called Stuerman’s allegations ‘uncorroborated, inflammatory, and highly defamatory’ in a four-page written response, saying the former assistant ‘simply has an axe to grind’ after being fired in June 2013.
However, Brettler did not dispute or comment on the allegation that Singer got Stuerman drunk and had sex with him when he was 18. He also didn’t address the claim that the producer had assaulted someone in front of Stuerman nearly a decade ago.
Bryan Singer, who came to prominence as a director with 1995’s “The Usual Suspects,” and directed several blockbusters, including “X-Men,” “Superman Returns,” and, most recently, 2018’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” has had no public comments on the matter. His attorney also told Variety the following:
“The types of allegations that Mr. Steurman [sic] now is leveling against Mr. Singer are nothing more than self-serving and conclusory statements with absolutely no evidentiary support,” Brettler writes. He adds: “Mr. Stuerman is angry and upset that he allegedly did not receive the ‘credit’ that he thought he deserved on Mr. Singer’s films….And, most of all, he is angry and upset that Mr. Singer is no longer funding Mr. Stuerman’s jet setting lifestyle and supporting Mr. Stuerman financially, as he had done for so many years.”
“It is evident, based on the limited information that Mr. Vary provided, that Mr. Stuerman does not want to take any responsibility and/or accountability for the decisions he made and actions he took as an adult,” writes Brettler. “Rather, he spins a tale of alleged grooming and abuse, supposedly at the hands of Mr. Singer, even though Mr. Stuerman acknowledges he was a ‘willing participant’ in the relationship.”
Singer has been accused of sexual assault several times in the past. The Daily Mail UK provides this chronological timeline which begins in 1997 and includes these most recent allegations:
1997: A 14-year-old extra accused Singer of asking him and other minors to film a shower scene in the nude for the 1998-released film Apt Pupil, an adaptation of the 1982 Stephen King thriller, starring Ian McKellen. Two other adolescent boys, 16 and 17 years old, later supported the 14-year-old’s claim. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to press criminal charges, with some sources claiming the charges were dropped an others saying it was settled out of court.
April 2014: Singer was accused by actor and model Michael Egan, then 31, of raping him in Hawaii in 1999, when he was 17, promising him movie roles.
Egan claimed he had been introduced to Singer by his business partner Marc Collins-Rector, later a convicted sex offender whom Egan had successfully sued for a $1million settlement a decade earlier.
Egan refused a $100,000 settlement, as revealed by DailyMail.com in 2019. He withdrew his allegations and was later jailed for two years in 2015 for his part in a fraudulent investment scheme.
May 2014: An anonymous British man referred to as John Doe No.117 filed a suit against Singer and producer Gary Goddard, using the same attorney as Egan, Jeff Herman.
The man claimed he had been sexually assaulted by Singer at The Superman Returns premiere in London in 2006. In July he dropped his allegations. He was also referenced in court documents, revealed by DailyMail.com in 2019.
November 2014: Singer was cited in documentary An Open Secret exposing child abuse in the film industry. Egan’ s allegations were omitted after he withdrew his lawsuit during the film’s production. American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis alleged that two of his former partners had attended underage sex parties hosted by Singer and fellow director Roland Emmerich.
December 2017: Cesar Sanchez-Guzman filed a lawsuit accusing Singer of raping him at a party on a yacht in Seattle in 2003 when he was 17.
December 2017: Days before the lawsuit was filed, Singer was fired by executives at 20th Century Fox as director of Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, after escalating tensions between Singer and actor Rami Malek caused by the former’s frequent unexplained absences from set. Singer denied all allegations of unprofessional behavior and claimed Fox refused to allow him to tend to ‘a gravely ill parent’ as well as to his own health. The USC School of Cinematic Arts also removed Singer’s name from its Division of Cinema & Media Studies program, following a protest by students. Though Mr. Singer remained credited as the director of the film, he went notably unmentioned in 2019 award-season speeches.
June 2019: Singer paid Sanchez-Guzman, who had filed for bankruptcy in 2014, $150,000 to have the charges against him dropped.
January 2019: The Atlantic published an expose in which four more men alleged that Singer sexually assaulted them when they were underage. Over a 12-month investigation, the journalists say they spoke to more that 50 sources, including four men who have never talked about their experiences with Singer before.
One individual claimed that, at the age of 17, he had sex with the director at Singer’s house in 1997. Another claimed that he and Singer had sex the same year in a Beverly Hills mansion, when he was just 15.
Both assert that Singer, who was then in his early 30s, knew that they were under 18 and therefore below the age of consent in California.
The victims claimed their experiences left them psychologically damaged, with substance-abuse problems, depression and PTSD.
One named victim, Victor Valdovinos, claimed he was a 13-year-old extra on the set of Apt Pupil in 1997 when Singer — then in his 30s — touched his genitals. According to Valdovinos, Singer molested him multiple times during a day of filming in a locker room that required partial nudity.
The article also claimed that Sanchez-Guzman’s 2017 lawsuit was stalled when Singer’s legal team reported Sanchez-Guzman to the Internal Revenue Service and to US immigration officials, although this was disputed by one of Singer’s lawyers.
In response to the men’s allegations, Singer denied any association with them and described the journalists as ‘homophobic.’
January 2019: DailyMail.com reveals court documents from 2014 showing that Singer was hit by at least five allegations of sexual assault, including Egan and John Doe No.117, with at least two of the claimants settling out of court.
February 2019: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) removed Singer’s name from Bohemian Rhapsody’s nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best British Film due to the allegations against him. And Millennium Films revealed that Singer had been removed as director for upcoming project Red Sonja.
December 2021: Singer’s former assistant Blake Stuerman, 30, accused him of ‘mental and emotional abuse’ in an essay published by Variety. Stuerman alleged that he was 18 when Singer, then 43, got him drunk and had sex with him for the first time. He also claimed the filmmaker ‘controlled’ his life during their four years together.
The extensive reporting by Variety and Daily Mail are very detailed and worth your time if you wish to learn more about these new allegations.