Bryan Singer, the director of the X-Men films and The Usual Suspects, has been accused of raping a 17-year-old boy and forcing him to take cocaine in 1999 in a civil lawsuit filed in Hawaii.
Plaintiff Michael Egan claims he was abused by Singer and others in Los Angeles and Hawaii during a period in which he was trying to make an acting career for himself in Hollywood.
"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children, "Egan's lawyer Jeff Herman told the Hollywood Reporter. "This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue."
Singer, whose new X-Men film Days of Future Past opens in the US next month, has vehemently denied the allegations against him. "The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit," said the director's lawyer, Marty Singer. "We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit."
He added: "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."
Egan, who lives in Nevada and would now be in his early thirties, is said to have informed police about his claims. But it is unclear why the allegations have been brought through the civil courts.
He claims he was abused during "sordid parties" after arriving in Los Angeles from the Midwest as a wannabe actor. The suit also alleges Singer and others threatened to make or break his career depending on his willingness to keep them happy.
Also named in the suit, though not as a defendant, is registered sex offender Marc Collins-Rector, who Egan claims arranged for Singer to assault him at a house in Encino, California.
Variety reports that Collins-Rector, the former chairman of defunct internet start-up Digital Entertainment Network, pleaded guilty in 2004 to luring minors across state lines for sexual acts.
Egan is asking for unspecified damages.