January 23, 2019
“Bohemian Rhapsody” may be decked out with awards and nominations, but there has been an air of controversy surrounding the film’s director, Bryan Singer. The Atlantic published a story early on Wednesday that alleges Singer had sexually abused underage boys.
Four men have stepped forward claiming Singer sexually assaulted them when they were under the age of 18 and are "psychologically damaged" as a result. Two of the men were around 17-years-old at the time, while another was 15-years-old. The youngest of them all was Victor Valdovinos who was 13 at the time of the incident.
Valdovinos, the only victim who used his real name, was an extra on the film "Apt Pupil." Valdovinos claims that Singer recruited him to be an extra and then molested him several times during a day of filming. The scene was set in a locker room and Singer requested that Valdovinos only wear a towel.
In October, Singer posted a message on Instagram saying he was aware the media was launching an investigation.
This isn't Singer's first allegation - Singer was accused of rape in December 2017 by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who was 17 at the time of the alleged incident.
Singer has denied all allegations and released the following statement:
"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 filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. 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 from “Bohemian Rhapsody” with only a month left to film in December 2017 due to escalating tensions between Rami Malek and Singer. He was replaced by Dexter Fletcher in the film’s final weeks of shooting but was given credit as the director. At the Golden Globes, the director's name was notably absent when Malek and the producers accepted their awards for best actor and best picture.