Bryan Singer’s lawyer has dismissed the claims as ‘completely without merit’
Lawyers acting for a man who claims he was sexually abused by X-Men director Bryan Singer have asked to withdraw from the case.
Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher have filed a court motion saying they no longer want to represent Michael Egan.
The pair said their relationship with Mr Egan had “broken down completely and cannot be repaired”.
Mr Egan accuses Mr Singer of abusing him when he was 17, a claim the film-maker strenuously denies.
Mr Egan, a former child model and aspiring actor who is now 31, has alleged that he was lured into a sex ring at parties at which Mr Singer was present.
He has filed a legal action seeking more than $75,000 (£44,500) for each of the four charges, listed as battery, assault, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Mr Singer’s lawyer has dismissed the accusations as “completely without merit”.
“Bryan and his team will continue to fight to clear his name and intend to pursue charges of malicious prosecution against Egan,” Mr Singer’s lawyer Marty Singer said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Marty Singer, who is not related to the director, said Mr Egan wanted to settle out of court for a relatively low amount, demonstrating a “lack of confidence in their chances for success” in court.
Speaking in April, Michael Egan urged other victims to come forward
Mr Egan has previously filed three similar lawsuits against other Hollywood figures. All have been dismissed.
When he first filed the complaint, his attorney Jeff Herman said: “Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children.”
The US District Court in Honolulu, Hawaii, is due to hear a motion to dismiss the case from Bryan Singer on 9 September.
The director has said he was not in Hawaii at the time of the alleged abuse and did not have sexual contact with Mr Egan.
Mr Singer has directed three instalments in the X-Men franchise as well as The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns and Jack the Giant Slayer.
Rolf Harris’s sex offences sentence will not be referred to the Court of Appeal, despite 150 complaints over its “leniency”, the attorney general’s office has said.
The disgraced entertainer was jailed for five years and nine months for 12 indecent assaults on four girls.
Complaints were lodged following his sentencing earlier this month.
In a statement, the office said the attorney general understood the decision would cause disappointment.
It said Attorney General Jeremy Wright would not refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal as “he did not think they would find it to be unduly lenient and increase it”.
‘Just and proportionate’
The office said the judge had been required to take Harris’s age into account.
“The sentencing judge was bound by the maximum sentence in force at the time of the offending,” it added.
“The judge made some of the sentences consecutive to reach the total sentence, but he could not simply add up sentences on individual counts; the overall sentence had to be just and proportionate to the overall offending.”
Harris, 84, was prosecuted in line with legislation in force during the period his offences were committed – when the maximum sentence for indecent assault was two years in prison, or five years for offences committed against victims under 13.
His offences took place between 1968 and 1986 against four girls aged seven or eight to 19.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed it has received “a number of allegations” against Harris since his conviction.
A spokesman said these further allegations were being considered.
Peter Saunders, of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood, said Harris’s sentencing could not make up for the suffering he had caused.
“A lot of people have said to me that they think that Rolf Harris got a very lenient sentence,” he said.
“But whether he was sentenced to five years or 20 years in prison, it cannot make up for the lifetime of suffering experienced by his victims.”
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in a US comic in 1984 before spawning an animated series and film in 1990
Paramount Pictures has apologised over a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster that accidentally referenced the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The image shows the characters jumping from an exploding New York skyscraper, above its Australian release date of 11 September.
After receiving criticism online, the film studio deleted the poster from its Twitter and Facebook accounts.
“Combining that image and date was a mistake,” Paramount Australia said.
“We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia.
The poster has been removed from Paramount Australia’s Twitter and Facebook accounts
“We intended no offence and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use.”
The combination of imagery and release date prompted anger and surprise online for its similarity to the terrorist attacks, during which desperate victims were seen jumping from the World Trade Center.
Linda Ronstadt was presented with her medal by US President Barack Obama
Grammy winning singer Linda Ronstadt has been awarded the National Medal of Arts – the highest arts honour in the US.
The 68-year-old was presented with the medal by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony.
She was honoured for her “one-of-a-kind voice and her decades of remarkable music”.
The White House added she helped “pave the way for generations of women artists”.
Ronstadt, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was brought into the East Room at the White House by wheelchair with the help of a military aide, but walked to the stage to receive the award.
When presenting the singer’s medal, President Obama revealed he “had a little crush on her back in the day”.
Linda Ronstadt, who has Parkinson’s disease, has won 11 Grammys and is credited for inspiring women in rock music
Ronstadt got her start in the folk group Stone Poneys before forging a solo rock career in 1968.
Best known for hits such as It’s So Easy and You’re No Good, her success in the 1970s – at a time when rock was dominated by men – is credited with inspiring women in the genre for decades.
She has released more than 30 studio albums covering a range of genres including country, jazz and big band.
The singer has sold more than 100 million records, earning her 11 Grammys and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year.
The Medal of Arts is awarded to individuals and groups who “are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States”.
“The arts and humanities aren’t just there to be consumed when we have a moment… we need them,” President Obama said at the ceremony.
Eleven other arts figures were honoured, including Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, novelist Julia Alvarez, documentary film-maker Albert Maysles and choreographer Bill T Jones.
Bassist Stuart Richardson said: “Even though I was completely done with him, I hoped it was all a mistake, he was innocent, he had to be.
“The first time, we knew the band was done. You can’t go back from that.”
In an exclusive interview with Newsbeat, the five remaining members – Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson – say they are trying to move forward with their new band, No Devotion.
The band are sitting in a north London pub, the afternoon before they play the third show on a run of four gigs.
Gaze, Richardson and Lewis say they are aware that before this band can truly begin, they have to confront the past.
They say the shock of hearing the news last year about their former frontman is still difficult to put into words.
“When 15 years of your life is washed down the toilet in that one moment, it’s harsh to take in,” says Lewis, the band’s rhythm guitarist.
Fellow guitarist Gaze adds: “There was two sets of it [shock] because there were the accusations – which was one thing.
“And then there was the actual, ‘Yeah I did do it’ which was a year later. He dragged that out for a year, so we got hit by it twice.”
Once Ian Watkins was arrested, some people asked how the other band members couldn’t have known something was going on.
“How could you know? How would you know?” Gaze says in disbelief.
“Who would disclose such a thing to five people, who between them have eight children? You just wouldn’t because they would be killed on the spot.”
Richardson adds: “I kind of expected it.
“People are angry, they needed somewhere to look and there’s the target, there we are.”
Gaze says he is angry that people could think that about them though.
“We weren’t hiding under rocks, we were still out there,” he says.
“It wasn’t like, ‘That’s happened, let’s run away.’ It was like, ‘We are sticking together,’ which I think is such a bold statement.”
The remaining band members reveal how before Ian Watkins committed his crimes, he was becoming increasingly distant from the band.
“He was doing his own thing,” says Gaze. “That just grew worse over the years, the more he was using drugs.
“He could be in the same city as me and I wouldn’t hang out with him, even if we weren’t playing shows.”
All three say it wasn’t a rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere backstage at their gigs and they certainly didn’t live in each other’s pockets.
“I think a lot of people think you are in a band together, back of a van, you’re doing everything together, there are all these wild after show parties,” Lewis tells Newsbeat.
“That’s such a cliche.”
Gaze breaks in: “That is such a naive way to look at things.
“Some of the best bands in rock ‘n’ roll history have the most fractured structure and they keep on going and they are so broken as a band.”
Half way through the interview it is becoming clear, they haven’t used Ian Watkins name, referring to him as the “old singer.”
They also can’t seem to bring themselves to say Lostprophets, instead saying “the old band” or “the last band.”
The final time they saw Watkins was at the band’s last gig at Newport Centre on 14 November 2012, except for Lee Gaze.
He recalls: “We shot a video for what was to be our last single for the record, which was probably nine days before he got arrested.”
He says Watkins was “strangely positive and enthusiastic about everything”.
“[He was] talking about the next record and how it’s going to do really well and get back on our feet.”
The rest of the band argue they would never have recorded another Lostprophets album, even if none of this had happened.
Gaze adds: “It goes to show how deluded he was.
“He is just completely on a different level to everybody, happy and positive and convinced we are going to be successful again.”
Once they decided to form their new band, No Devotion, they say they knew it was a bold decision and might not be met positively.
To start with they needed a new frontman and knew some singers might feel they were tainted.
“Our attitude was that we were so dead set on doing a band that if no-one will do it, we will do it ourselves,” says Gaze.
They recruited Geoff Rickly, former frontman of Thursday, who they say has vocally taken their tracks to “another level”.
They are in the middle of recording their debut album and are already getting support from the music industry and fans.
No Devotion played their first gig in Cardiff last week and admit they were a bit apprehensive.
“We just wanted people to love the songs as much as we did and to know that it was accepted and it wasn’t just a pity party,” says Richardson.
“We wanted people to know we were a band and not just these guys who went through something bad.”
The three say there were plenty of moments when they thought they could never play again.
Lewis explains: “It was vindication almost that we were there and we are doing this and we do have an incredible support from people.”
For him, getting back on the road and returning to the music industry has been “incredibly cathartic”.
“I believe now that’s the past, let’s forget about that, that band happened, that band is in the past.
“It’s time to move on and we just want to focus on that from here on in.”
John Lydon (left) threw bananas into the audience at a press launch for the show.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production company, Really Useful Group, is suing the promoter of a cancelled US tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The show had been due visit 50 US cities, with a cast including Sex Pistol John Lydon and former Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams.
But the promoter, Michael Cohl’s Options Clause Entertainment, pulled the plug at the end of May.
Really Useful Group says it has “no option” but to recover its costs.
In a statement, the company said Michael Cohl and Options Clause Entertainment had agreed to promote the North American tour, and were “responsible for all of the costs associated with the US dates”.
“Since Mr Cohl’s unilateral decision to cancel the tour,” it continued, “the Really Useful Group has been tirelessly working to find an out of court settlement of the costs incurred by cancellation at such a late stage.
Barney Wragg, chief executive of the Really Useful Group, added he was “hugely disappointed to be let down in this way, particularly taking into account the impact (both personal and financial) that it has had on the many people who have put so much hard work into this project.”
“We had a sell-out UK arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2012,” he added in a statement, “and in 2013, the same production toured Australia also playing to capacity audiences with unprecedented success.”
The US tour would have starred Ben Forster as Jesus – a role he previously played in the UK after appearing on the ITV series Superstar.
The 54-city trek had been scheduled to begin in New Orleans on 9 June and include stops in New York and Boston.
Producers never explained the reason for the show’s cancellation, but offered refunds on all tickets.
Mr Cohl, who was also a producer on the ill-fated Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark musical on Broadway, declined to talk in detail about financing when the tour was unveiled in April, but said the show’s total costs were in the “eight figures” range.
He added it needed to pull in “several hundred thousand dollars” each night to keep it on the road.
His office was not open when the BBC called for a response to Really Useful Group’s legal action.