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'X-Men' director calls sex abuse suit a shakedown

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Photo - FILE - In this March 3, 2012 file photo, director Bryan Singer arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of the play "8" in Los Angeles.  Singer released a statement on Thursday, April 24, 2014, denying allegations by Michael Egan III that the director sexually assaulted him when he was underage in 1999 and called them "outrageous, vicious and completely false." The director of the upcoming film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" also said he is avoiding media promotions of the film to avoid creating a distraction. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)
FILE - In this March 3, 2012 file photo, director Bryan Singer arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of the play "8" in Los Angeles. Singer released a statement on Thursday, April 24, 2014, denying allegations by Michael Egan III that the director sexually assaulted him when he was underage in 1999 and called them "outrageous, vicious and completely false." The director of the upcoming film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" also said he is avoiding media promotions of the film to avoid creating a distraction. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The director of the upcoming "X-Men" film is calling a lawsuit that accuses him of raping an aspiring model and actor in 1999 a shakedown.

Bryan Singer wrote in a statement released Thursday that he's avoiding promotional events for his upcoming film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" to avoid distracting from the movie.

His statement comes a week after he was sued by Michael Egan III in Hawaii in a case that accuses the director of sexually abusing Egan there when he was 17 years old.

Singer's attorney has denied that the director was in Hawaii when the alleged abuse occurred.

The director's statement says he expects the allegations will be revealed to be a "sick, twisted shakedown."

An email sent to Egan's attorney, Jeff Herman, was not immediately returned.

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