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Attorneys representing Hollywood sex-abuse accuser want out

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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HONOLULU — Lawyers for a former child model who is accusing “X-Men” director Bryan Singer of sex abuse said Tuesday they want to get off the case because their relationship with the accuser has deteriorated.

Michael EganDamian Dovarganes, AP

Plaintiff Michael Egan, left, with his attorney, Jeff Herman take questions from to the media during a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 17, 2014. A sex abuse lawsuit by Egan, a former child model and aspiring actor is accusing “X-Men” franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii.

Attorneys Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Honolulu asking to withdraw as counsel for Michael Egan III. They say they no longer talk to Egan except through a new lawyer.

Egan, now 31, accuses Singer in a lawsuit of sexually abusing him during trips to Hawaii when he was 17 in 1999. Singer has denied the allegations.

Gallagher declined to comment, directing questions to Herman. Herman did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press.

Singer’s lawyer, Marty Singer, said in a statement that Egan’s lawyers were willing to settle the case for a low amount, demonstrating a “lack of confidence in their chances for success.” The amount was not specified.

“Bryan and his team will continue to fight to clear his name and intend to pursue charges of malicious prosecution against Egan,” Marty Singer said.

Gallagher and Herman said in their filing that their relationship with Egan “has broken down completely and cannot be repaired.”

The lawyers said they could not give a full explanation except under seal.

Egan previously dropped three similar Hawaii lawsuits against other Hollywood figures. One of the men, former network television executive Garth Ancier, responded with a malicious-prosecution lawsuit against Egan, saying the accusations damaged his reputation.

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The lawsuits were filed under an unusual state law that created a window for civil cases in sex-abuse cases where the statute of limitations has passed.

The lawyer shuffle in Egan’s case against Singer comes as the court is scheduled to consider a motion from Singer to dismiss the case Sept. 9. Lawyers for Singer asked Tuesday to keep the hearing as scheduled.

As part of that motion, Singer filed a signed declaration saying that he was never in Hawaii during the time Egan claimed in the lawsuit and didn’t have sexual contact with him.

Singer, who is openly bisexual, said he was working on the first “X-Men” film in the Toronto area at the time.

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