Sex-abuse lawsuit dropped against ex-TV executive
Friday, June 06, 2014 12:00 AM
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) — A former aspiring actor and model has withdrawn his lawsuit alleging a former TV executive sexually abused him during trips to Hawaii in 1999.
Attorneys for Michael Egan III filed papers Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu voluntarily dismissing the case against David Neuman.
Neuman, "X-Men" director Bryan Singer, producer Gary Goddard and former television executive Garth Ancier were sued by Egan in April under a Hawaii law that suspended the statute of limitations in civil sex abuse cases.
The Associated Press does not typically identify alleged victims of sex abuse but is naming Egan because he has spoken publicly about his case.
He alleges Singer abused him several times during trips to Hawaii in 1999, when Egan was 17. Egan also accuses Singer of abusing him earlier in California as part of a Hollywood sex ring. The other lawsuits involve similar allegations.
All the defendants deny the claims. A judge next month will consider motions to dismiss the remaining cases.
The withdrawal of the lawsuit against Neuman "exposes this despicable lawsuit for what it really was: an unethical smearing and failed shakedown of a completely innocent man," Neuman's Los Angeles attorneys said in a statement.
Egan's Hawaii attorney, Mark Gallagher, referred questions to Egan's Florida attorney, Jeff Herman, whose office released a statement saying: "Mr. Egan maintains the allegations and has even passed a polygraph test based on those specific allegations. We are evaluating our next step in seeking justice for Mr. Egan."
Lawyers for Neuman filed a motion last month to dismiss the case, arguing that Egan said in an statement under oath in 2003 that Neuman was not in Hawaii with him and didn't sexually assault him or engage in any kind of sexual behavior with him.
"Now, more than 10 years after signing the declaration, plaintiff inexplicably has chosen to suddenly claim that Mr. Neuman had engaged in the very conduct which 10 years earlier he swore Mr. Neuman had no part of," the motion said.
The motion also argued that Egan is taking advantage of Hawaii's law that afforded a two-year window to file civil sex abuse lawsuits if the statute of limitations had lapsed. The window closed in April, but a bill before Gov. Neil Abercrombie would extend the filing deadline to 2016.
Federal courts can handle such cases when parties are from different states.
"Hawaii's extended state statute of limitations is being used by a Florida lawyer and a Nevada plaintiff as the vehicle to publicly defame and embarrass a California resident (Mr. Neuman), in the hope that Mr. Neuman, rather than fight these blatantly false and frivolous claims, will simply pay the plaintiff to go away," Neuman's motion said.
Neuman has worked for Disney and CNN as a TV executive.
Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at http://www.twitter.com/JenHapa .