Did Bryan Singer Sexually Abuse Michael F. Egan III?

24 Apr

Director Bryan Singer made a public statement today about a lawsuit filed by Michael F. Egan III, who claims Mr. Singer sexually abused Mr. Egan approximately 15 years ago.

http://www.etonline.com/news/145816_x_men_director_bryan_singer_responds_to_accusation_of_sexually_abusing_a_teenage_boy_in_1999/

Mr Singer states: “The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false. 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. 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. However, I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shake down it is. I want to thank fans, friends and family for all their amazing and overwhelming support.”

“The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false.” – The best denial is always a simple and explicit statement, such as “I am not guilty of the allegations”. Whenever a denial includes extraneous language, we should be on guard the denial is false. In this instance, the extraneous words are “outrageous”, “vicious”, and “completely”. These words do not make the denial stronger. A careful listener should ask themselves why these extraneous words are included. There is a physiological response to lying which makes it difficult for most people to easily tell a falsehood, so one strategy to make a lie easier to tell is to include a bit of truth.

These allegations are certainly “outrageous”, but the level of outrageousness does not effect the validity of the allegations. The word “outrageous” is intended to make the listener agree the allegations are false because the listener agrees with the first part of the statement, the allegations are “outrageous”.

Are these allegations “vicious”? To Mr. Singer, they are “vicious”, but again, this is not a denial of the allegations, simply Mr. Singer’s opinion of them, whether true or false. Why does Mr. Singer believe these allegations are “vicious”? There is an implication of a more than casual relationship between Mr. Singer and the plaintiff.

When the main word of a denial, “false”, is attached to an extraneous word, “completely”, the listener must ask themselves why the speaker felt the need to define “false”. Can something be “partially false” or “incompletely false”? No, it either is or is not “false”. The use of extraneous words is a sign of discomfort with the word “false” on the part of the speaker.

“However, I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shake down it is.”

The use of the word “this” indicates the “situation” is very close to Mr. Singer. “That” would have pushed the “situation” away from the speaker. Instead, Mr. Singer positions the “situation” as close to himself, he is comfortable with it, it is his “situation”. The word “situation” does not address the validity of the allegations.

“sick twisted shake down” – A “shake down” is defined as “the act of taking something (such as money) from someone by using threats or deception”. The words “sick” and “twisted” indicate Mr. Singer is concerned with this “shake down”. Is this really a “shake down”? No, it is a lawsuit. A “shake down” is illegal. A lawsuit is legal. Mr. Singer is attempting to color the lawsuit as an illegal act to detract credibility from the allegations. However, “sick twisted shake down” is not a denial of the allegations.

Perhaps most interesting is most of the statement is about Mr. Singer’s current film project, which has nothing to do with this lawsuit. Mr. Singer is very concerned over the performance of his current film at the box office, but not as much with denying the allegations in a believable manner.

What have we learned? We have learned when accused in a public forum of sexual abuse or other crime, the best course of action is to keep your own mouth shut and allow your attorneys to make your public statements, unless you really did not do it, then you may make a clear and concise statement of your innocence without reference to unrelated matters.

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