Bohemian Rhapsody and The Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer has responded to fresh allegations of sexual misconduct, calling them a "homophobic smear".
US publication The Atlantic published an extensive report in which four men allege that Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s. One of the men, Victor Valdovinos, says he was a 13-year-old extra on the set of Apt Pupil when Singer molested him.
His three other accusers are identified in the Atlantic story by pseudonyms. One man claims that he had sex with Singer when he was 15, while a second man says he was 17 when he began having sex with the director. Singer would have been 31 at the time.
A third man alleges that he and Singer engaged in sexual activity when he was 17 or 18.
Singer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler has denied that Singer ever had sex with underage boys, and disputed various details of the accusers' accounts.
In a statement released to Deadline, Singer has now commented on the report, saying: "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... 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 was fired two weeks before the end of production on Bohemian Rhapsody in December 2017. The film received five Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, including best picture and best actor for Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. Singer remains the credited director, but was not nominated.
Singer also directed The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, three X Men movies and World War Two drama Valkyrie. He is next scheduled to direct a remake of Red Sonja.