updated 04/24/2014 AT 4:15 PM ET
•originally published 04/24/2014 AT 4:45 PM ET
X-Men director Bryan Singer is speaking out about allegations he forced a teenage boy into sex, blasting the claims as a “sick twisted shakedown.”
Singer, 48, broke his silence Thursday and said he won’t participate in the promotional tour for his latest movie.
“I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men: Days of Future Past. This fantastic film is a labor of love and one of the greatest experiences of my career,” he says in a statement. “So, out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I’ve decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film.”
The controversy began when Michael Egan sued Singer for sexual assault last week. Egan, now 31, claims the director abused him during parties in the 1990s, when he was a young aspiring actor caught in a Hollywood sex ring.
Egan has since filed suit against three more entertainment executives: Garth Ancier, Gary Goddard and David Neuman. But Singer, who first gained fame directing The Usual Suspects in 1995, staunchly denies Egan’s story.
“I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shakedown it is,” his statement continued. “I want to thank fans, friends and family for all their amazing and overwhelming support.”
X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters May 23.