For a case that was launched with such a blaze of publicity – including very public press conferences and declarations that it was just the beginning of an effort to end a perceived Hollywood problem with underage sex – it has fizzled out pretty quickly.
In April Michael F. Egan and his then lawyer Jerry Herman filed a case against Bryan Singer in Hawaii, alleging rape and various types of sex abuse when Egan was underage back in 1999. This was followed by three further suits against other Hollywood execs and producers.
Within days those other three cases started to fall apart and were eventually dropped, and then things unravelled further last week, when Herman announced that he was attempting to withdraw as Egan’s lawyer. This came admist rumours that their relationship had completely broken down, apparently after Egan refused to settle the Singer suit for a token sum.
Now it seems Egan is seeking to drop his case against Singer too. Although the motion itself was sealed, but THR reports it is titled, ‘Plaintiff’s Opposition to Motion to Withdraw as Counsel; Request for Court Order of Dismissal, Without Prejudice or an Award of Costs or Fees, in the Interest of Justice — filed by Michael F. Egan, III (pro se)’.
The motion is therefore trying to stop Herman dropping Egan as a client, and also to allow him to withdraw his case against Singer without prejudice (meaning he could potentially refile it, assuming he can overcome statute of limitation issues). Singer meanwhile has already filed a motion to have the case thrown out with prejudice, preventing Egan from ever filing another case based around these allegations. That is due to be heard early next month.
The latest reports, again via THR, say the court has now allowed Herman to withdraw as Egan’s lawyer, but has deferred a decision on whether to allow Egan to withdraw the suit against Singer without prejudice. That part of the motion will be heard on September 9th, at the same time as the X-Men director’s attempt to have it thrown out with prejudice. The THR report also suggests Egan has found new lawyers, but they are not yet representing him in court.
To further complicate matters, there is also a case in motion that Egan and Herman filed in the California courts against four unnamed defendants, who are presumed to be the same four men named by Egan in the Hawaii cases. The presumption had been that case would also be withdrawn soon, however it’s possible Egan’s new lawyers have other plans. It would be extremely difficult to get it through the California courts due to statute of limitation issues, but it’s possible the new lawyers may use that suit, which is currently is stasis, to extract settlements in order to remove the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the accused men.