An aspiring actor has accused X-Men director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager.
The federal lawsuit filed on April 16 claim s that the director of the new X-Men: Days Of Future Past movie forced Michael Egan III into sex during parties in California and Hawaii when he was 17 in the late 1990s, the Associated Press reported.
Marty Singer, a lawyer for the director, whose movies include The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns, Jack The Giant Slayer and the first two X-Men films, described the claims, filed in a lawsuit in Hawaii, as "absurd and defamatory".
"It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan's new movie is about to open in a few weeks," said the lawyer, who is not related to the 48-year-old director, in a statement.
X-Men Days Of Future Past is set for release on May 23 and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart.
The Associated Press said the lawsuit claims Egan was lured into a sex ring with promises of auditions for acting, modelling and commercial jobs. He was paid as an actor for a digital entertainment company, but forced to have sex with adult men at parties notorious within Hollywood's entertainment industry, the lawsuit says.
It adds that Bryan Singer attended several of the parties and forced Egan into sex, giving him drugs and threatening Egan when he resisted advances. It does not accuse the director of luring Egan into the ring.
"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children," the Associated Press said Egan's lawyer Jeff Herman said in a statement.
The lawsuit says Egan, a former child model, is seeking more than 75,000 dollars (£44,000) on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.