A former assistant for “X-Men” director Bryan Singer has accused the filmmaker of a “traumatizing” and emotionally abusive romantic relationship in a personal essay published Monday — claims that a lawyer for Singer denied, and called “uncorroborated” and “inflammatory.”
In an essay in Variety, Blake Stuerman describes meeting Singer in 2009 when he was 18 and Singer was 43 and entering into a sexual relationship shortly thereafter. He also said he witnessed Singer in 2012 attacking a man at a house party, saying that he “lived in fear” of the director afterward.
Stuerman wrote that he felt “controlled” by Singer in both his private life and his career and more recently began receiving treatment for both abuse and PTSD. He said his relationship with Singer ended after he was fired as an assistant on Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” in 2013.
“Up until a few years ago, I still defended Bryan in private. If someone brought up the rumors of his alleged behavior, I would deny them. It wasn’t until I began receiving treatment specifically for abuse and PTSD that I accepted what had actually happened,” Stuerman wrote. “I am a victim of abuse by a very powerful, very wealthy and very sick man. I am a victim of Bryan Singer.”
Stuerman could not be reached to independently verify his account.
Singer, who is the director of films such as “The Usual Suspects,” “X-Men,” “Superman Returns,” has previously been accused of sexual misconduct. In a 2019 article in The Atlantic, multiple men accused Singer of rape and other misconduct, some of whom alleged incidents occurred while they were underage. Singer has repeatedly denied the accusations against him. In 2019, he also settled a rape lawsuit against him for $150,000 but, in a statement at the time from attorney Andrew Brettler, Singer denied knowing the individual in the suit, and denied any wrongdoing.
On Monday, Brettler issued a denial of Stuerman’s accusations. “The types of allegations that Mr. Steurman [sic] now is leveling against Mr. Singer are nothing more than self-serving and conclusory statements with absolutely no evidentiary support,” Brettler wrote in a letter to Variety. “Mr. Stuerman is angry and upset that he allegedly did not receive the ‘credit’ that he thought he deserved on Mr. Singer’s films….And, most of all, he is angry and upset that Mr. Singer is no longer funding Mr. Stuerman’s jet setting lifestyle and supporting Mr. Stuerman financially, as he had done for so many years.”
In his response to Variety, Brettler also provided additional text messages between Stuerman and Singer and claimed that Stuermer repeatedly asked Singer for money, jobs or a place to live and that their relationship ended as Stuerman grew “increasingly paranoid, delusional, and needy.”
“Mr. Stuerman does not want to take any responsibility and/or accountability for the decisions he made and actions he took as an adult,” Brettler said. “Rather, he spins a tale of alleged grooming and abuse, supposedly at the hands of Mr. Singer, even though Mr. Stuerman acknowledges he was a ‘willing participant’ in the relationship.”
Brettler did not provide additional comment in response to the article.
Jennifer Maas contributed to this report.