The phone lines are burning up as insiders nervously ask – Who's next? and what do people know?
I haven't seen Hollywood on edge like this since the Anthony Pellicano allegations started sweeping the town close to a decade ago.
My phone rang off the hook yesterday with nervous executives and top lawyers looking for information about what Michael Egan knows, who he plans to implicate next and what evidence might he have. The three new defendants named after Bryan Singer — Garth Ancier, David Neuman and Gary Goddard — are well familiar names in town.
Who's next? Everyone knows that there are other, even more powerful people than these executives whose names are likely to surface.
“The problem is that lots of people are afraid they're going to be named,” one top lawyer told me, who'd been contacted by two prominent clients. “They both insist they have nothing to do with this. But they don't know where he's going with this. They keep alluding that more information is going to come if they could file in California.”
At lunch yesterday with a top publicist, I got pumped for information about who else might be named in a lawsuit. At one meeting in Burbank, the executives were so distracted by the pending finger-pointing (you can trust me that this was the reason) that the work was rescheduled.
Guessing at the other likely names has quickly become a parlor game.
The Pellicano case, with its allegations of rampant phone-tapping and dead-fish threatening, was bad for the entertainment industry. But the allegations of a Hollywood sex ring are more explosive, and not just because it may tar a summer “X-Men” blockbuster directed by Bryan Singer.
It's serious because it confirms some of the planet's worst suspicions about Hollywood — that this place is a moral cesspool. And it's serious because it tilts toward confirming what even the cognoscenti like to joke about this place, that it's run by a gay mafia (calling Michael Ovitz).
If these allegations of “grooming” and rape of underage boys are true, then careers will be ended. Large sums of money will be paid. Hollywood as a whole will not be unscathed.
And I've got news for you: There's lots of talk that “everyone knew” this kind of thing was going on. (Not by me, I confess.) That there were legendary sex parties among the gay industry elite and that there was something about them that was decidedly over the line.
I spoke to one straight executive yesterday who gave me shocking details about parties at the Encino mansion called the M & C Estate owned by convicted sex offender Marc Collins-Rector, where Singer is accused of molesting Egan.
“This house was famous for this,” said the executive. “There were straight parties that turned into gay parties.” This executive has been to the house and a close associate was there frequently because he worked for Rector at the time. The associate told him at the time: “‘Dude, this shit is crazy what goes on after hours. Something isn't right here. This is not cool. There are young boys running around naked. There is naked shit going on in the pool late at night.”
He continued: “It was a trick. They would throw these lavish parties, they'd have these private planes, and they would get these 18-17-15-year-old guys, they brought their girlfriends, and they'd try to flip them. They'd take the lowest hanging fruit. They'd say, ‘You want chicks? You want planes?’ And they'd throw these straight parties and use it as a breeding ground to get guys.”
Ugly stuff. So in short: there's probably more to come.