BREAKING: After pulling out of a scheduled appearance to promote X-Men: Days Of Future Past at last singerbryweekend’s WonderCon, director Bryan Singer has announced he’s not going to participate in the launch publicity for the Fox tentpole because of the allegations of sex abuse that are the subject of a civil lawsuit and allegedly occurred in 1999. This case is sordid, and has been a challenge for some news outlets because Singer was among several names named, with no evidence so far. He originated the X-Men franchise for Fox, directing the first two stellar films, and this was expected to be a triumphant return. But though unsubstantiated at this point, the allegations are serious, the scandal is growing, and it is not surprising to see him bow out. Here is a statement that Singer issued through his publicist:

‘The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false,” Singer said. “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.”

All of this surfaced when 31-year-old Michael Egan filed a blockbuster lawsuit accusing Singer of molesting him when he was 15, at private house parties in Encino, CA and Hawaii. Singer denied the allegations through his lawyer, and since then, the same allegations were made against executives Garth Ancier, producer Gary Wayne Goddard and former Disney exec David Neuman. All of them have denied the charges, but this is turning out to be the most publicized Hollywood sex scandal since Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss was arrested.

It has been a challenging story to cover — it is a civil not criminal complaint that goes back 15 years, and at this point impossible to know who is telling the truth — and Deadline Hollywood has tried to show restraint and publish only when there is a business context. That is certainly the case with the latest development involving Singer.