Lawsuit Accuses Bryan Singer of Sexually Assaulting 17-Year-Old Boy

Cesar Sanchez-Guzman is suing Bryan Singer, alleging sexual assault.

Sanchez-Guzman’s attorney, Jeff Herman, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Usual Suspects director. Sanchez-Guzman claims Singer claims raped him in 2003, when he was 17.

Singer was at a Seattle-area party on a yacht owned by tech investor Lester Waters. The majority of guests were young gay males, including the plaintiff, according to the suit.

At the party, Singer allegedly met the teenager, and offered to give him a tour. Then, Singer “lured Cesar into a room, shut the door and demanded that Cesar perform oral sex,” as described in a press release from his attorney.

When Sanchez-Guzman refused, the bisexual producer allegedly forced him into acts of anal and oral sex, as Sanzhez-Guzman pleaded with him to stop, according to the suit.

Afterward, the suit claims, Singer contacted Sanchez-Guzman to dangle the promise of a Hollywood career in exchange for his silence. Singer allegedly also warned Sanchez-Guzman that if he came forward with his story, he would not be believed, and that Singer had the resources to ruin him.

Through a representative, Singer denied the allegations. “The lawsuit was filed by the same lawyer who represented Michael Egan. Those claims were dismissed by Egan himself, and he later went to Federal prison for lying in a fraud case,” the rep told TMZ.

Previously, Herman did represent Egan, who accused Singer and other Hollywood bigwigs of sexual assault. The suit was dismissed, and Herman offered an apology to several of the accused for “false allegations” (but not Singer)

Herman, who specializes in cases involving victims of sexual abuse, is also representing actress Dominque Huett, who says she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. She is suing the Weinstein Co., alleging it enabled his behavior, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Herman’s website lists many cases he has won for his clients, but he also has some blots on his record, having been “suspended by the Florida State Supreme Court and barred for life by an Oregon federal judge,” the Reporter notes. He has dismissed these as “irrelevant.”

This is not the first time Singer made headlines this month. He was fired from a production of a Queen biopic starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, amid reports of erratic behavior. He allegedly clashed with Malek on set and at times did not show up to work. One source claimed Singer is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gay Man Denied Marriage License by Kim Davis Wants Her Job

David Ermold and Kim Davis

David Ermold and Kim Davis

December 06 2017 7:24 PM EST

A gay man who was denied a marriage license by Kim Davis in Rowan County, Ky., is seeking to challenge her for the county clerk position.

David Ermold, who with his partner, David Moore, was denied a licnese in 2015, announced today that he’s seeking the Democratic nomination for county clerk in next year’s election, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Three other Democrats are seeking the nomination, while Davis, a former Democrat, is running for reelection as a Republican.

“I am running to restore the confidence of the people in our clerk’s office and because I believe that the leaders of our community should act with integrity and fairness, and they should put the needs of their constituents first,” said Ermold, 43, according to the paper. “My commitment to Rowan County is to restore professional leadership, fairness, and responsibility to the clerk’s office. I will build upon the successes of the past, and I will seek solutions for the challenges we may still face.” Ermold, 43, is an English professor at the University of Pikeville and director of Morehead Pride.

He and Moore were among the four couples, both gay and straight, who sued Davis in 2015 after she shut down all marriage license operations in the clerk’s office rather than serve same-sex couples after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, as she said same-sex marriage violated her Christian beliefs. A federal judge ordered her to resume issuing licenses, and still she refused.

Ermold and Moore tried to get a license both before and after the court order and were refused a license, although Davis herself was not present the first two times, and they filmed the encounters, They tried a third time and confronted the clerk.

Davis ended up going to jail for five days for contempt of court, and one of her deputies began issuing licenses to same-sex couples. The judge said that met the conditions of his order, and Davis was released. Eventually the state changed its marriage license forms so they did not bear the county clerk’s name. Ermold and Moore finally obtained a license and were married in November 2015.

Davis processed Ermold’s paperwork for his candidacy at the clerk’s office today, the Herald-Leader reports. They shook hands and she told him, “May the best candidate win.”

Davis has been Rowan County clerk since 2014 and worked for her mother, the previous clerk, before that. Her son works in the clerk’s office as well.

“The county clerk’s office has been in the hands of the same family for almost 35 years,” Ermold told the Herald-Leader. “I think there’s the potential they want to keep it in the family. But everyone should have a fair shot. It should not be something that’s handed down from mother to daughter and from daughter to son.”

Warwick Rowers: Russia Banned Naked Calendar for 'Gay Propaganda'

A calendar featuring naked athletes that benefits an LGBT sports charity has been banned in Russia for “gay propaganda,” claimed its makers.

Angus Malcolm, photographer and producer of the annual Warwick Rowers calendar, told The Independent, a British newspaper, that so far, six of 23 calendars shipped to the Eastern Eurpean nation have been rejected and returned without explanation.

Malcolm believes the country’s anti-LGBT laws are to blame. In 2013, Russia passed legislation that bans “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations among minors.” In other words, it bars positive mention of LGBT issues in materials and venues accessible to young people, and has been used against Pride parades and even Facebook posts.

“My heart goes out to the rowers’ Russian fans, who are increasingly subjected to acts of hatred and discrimination that shouldn’t be tolerated in any society anywhere across the globe,” Malcolm told The Independent.

“The fact Russian customs rejected our calendar is nothing compared to the suffering some LGBT+ people face every day, but it acts as a signifier of the wider problem.”

In addition to the returned mail, which can cost up to 25 pounds per rejected item, WarwickRowers.org was also recently targeted by a denial-of-service attack, which temporarily disabled the website with a flood of traffic. The I.P. address was reportedly traced to Russia.

“If they can’t cope with a few naked bums, then frankly that’s quite sad,” Malcolm added.

The calendar in question features naked portraits of rowers from the University of Warwick, and it supports a good cause. A portion of sales benefits Sport Allies, which fights homophobia in sports.

Malcolm said that this spirit of acceptance was “heretical” in Russia. He said its president, Vladimir Putin, fueled “precisely the kind of toxic masculinity that Sport Allies and the Warwick Rowers want to challenge.”

Indeed, since the adoption of its “gay propaganda” laws, hate crimes against LGBT people have doubled in Russia.

See a preview of the 2018 calendar on Advocate.com.

Bryan Singer Fired From Queen Biopic Amid Reports of Erratic Behavior

Twentieth Century Fox confirmed that Bryan Singer has been fired from the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.

“Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody,” Fox told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.

The termination follows a period of chaos on set. Previously, Fox suspended the London-based production of Bohemian Rhapsody due to the “unexpected availability” of the director. Singer did not show up to work after the Thanksgiving break, spurring rumors he would be replaced.

The director has reportedly been routinely tardy during filming, and went missing several times. The film’s cinematographer, Thomas Newton Sigel, stepped in as a substitute director during several of Singer’s absences.

Previously, a representative for Singer cited “a personal health matter” as a reason for his non-showing.

Bohemian Rhapsody stars Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) as Freddie Mercury, the bisexual frontman of Queen who died from AIDS-related complications. The production was set to be released December 2018.

One source told THR that Singer claims to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, due to on-set tensions. Previously, Malek complained to the studio of Singer’s unprofessionalism. The pair clashed during production, and had at least one verbal confrontation, with Singer allegedly throwing an object during the encounter. Afterward, it was believed they resolved their differences.

However, Fox terminated Singer after his extended absence. A new director will soon be announced.

In the past, Singer, who identifies as bisexual, has faced several accusations of sexual assault against minors, although previous lawsuits were dismissed. The news of his termination on Bohemian Rhapsody has reignited speculation on social media.

Met Opera Investigates Conductor After Man Accuses Him of Sexual Abuse

A famous composer is under investigation after an accusation of sexual abuse.

The Metropolitan Opera announced Saturday it was looking into charges of sexual misconduct against James Levine.

The move was spurred by recent media inquiries regarding a 2016 police report, in which a man accused Levine of sexual abuse around 30 years ago. The accuser was a teenager when the alleged abuse began.

“We are deeply disturbed by the news articles that are being published online today about James Levine. We are working on an investigation w outside resources to determine whether charges of sexual misconduct in the 1980s are true, so that we can take appropriate action,” the New York City company stated on Twitter.

The Met, one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, claimed it knew of the report last year, but that Levine denied the allegations, reports the New York Times

In the report, filed in the Lake Forest, Ill., police department, the man claimed Levine, 74, held his hand in an “incredibly sensual way” when he was 15 and the conductor was in his early 40s. They had met at the Ravinia Festival, a summer music event, where Levine was music director from 1973 to 1993.

The man, who loved music and aspired to one day be a conductor, claimed Levine told him he wanted “to see if you can be raised special like me.”

The next summer, the accuser said he would meet Levine at the Deer Path Inn near the festival. Levine allegedly touched his penis while the pair were naked in bed, beginning years of sexual abuse.

“I would get there and the lights are off, and he would say to me after I came in and after a hug ‘take your clothes off,'” the man wrote in the police statement.

“On various occasions he would ask me how I touched myself and then he would touch me the way I touched myself,” he added. “I was never able to be aroused by this. But then he would masturbate himself at his bed or in the bathroom.”

“This pattern repeated itself hundreds of times,” stated the man, who claimed he recently realized these interactions impacted him in “a negative manner.”

The man chose to remain anonymous to protect his identity; but the New York Times confirmed he had told a relative in 1993 of the alleged abuse.

Levine has a long history with the Met. Four decades ago, he became the opera house’s music director, and has served as a composer there for more than 2,500 performances. 

Rumors of sexual abuse have also dogged Levine for years — and they were even mentioned in a 2001 book by Johanna Fiedler, a former press representative for the Met.

“Starting in the spring of 1979, these stories came to the surface at more or less regular intervals,” Fielder wrote in Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera. “Each time, the Met press office would tirelessly point out the cyclical nature of the gossip and the complete lack of substance.”

Anthony Rapp Breaks Silence on Kevin Spacey to Call Out Harassers

Anthony Rapp is calling out his trolls.

The Star Trek: Discovery actor has tweeted out some of the messages of hate he has received, since coming forward with an accusation of sexual misconduct against Kevin Spacey.

“I’ve decided I want to share some of them because these people need to be outed for their harassment,” Rapp tweeted.

In an October interview with BuzzFeed News, Rapp said that when he was 14 and Spacey was 26 in 1986, the older actor attempted to “seduce” him at the conclusion of a party in his New York home. Since then, dozens of accusers have come forward against Spacey.

Rapp’s act was hailed as heroic by many. But he has also become a target for trolls on social media, who have called him an “opportunist” and other expletives for coming forward with his story. The tweets, which Rapp said just “boggle my mind,” blame the Star Trek star for ruining Spacey’s career and cast doubt on his account.

While sharing this hate, Rapp also clarified its effect on him.

“1, I do not believe these trolls and harassers are right. 2, their words do not sting deeply, but they do wound slightly. 3, I have gotten so many more positive messages than negative,” he stated on Twitter.

“Thank you to all of you who have been expressing support and solidarity,” he said to his supporters. “Your kindness is felt and much appreciated. And I have experienced such support far more than I have experienced negativity.”

See some of the hate directed at Rapp below.

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'The Shape of Water': A Fairy Tale for Queers and Other Outsiders

Guillermo Del Toro’s newest otherworldly adventure, The Shape of Water, finds love in a seemingly hopeless place — set against the height of the Cold War, just weeks before John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Amid a time rife with fear, racism, and homophobia, it unearths an unexpected love story from the most unlikely of protagonists.

Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) sticks to a strict daily routine: An alarm clock wakes her, a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, a timed masturbation session in the bath, a shoeshine, a tedious housekeeping night shift at a government research facility, a good day’s sleep, rinse and repeat. Elisa, who is mute, spends her free time listening to the gossip of her coworker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) or watching escapist TV with Giles (Richard Jenkins), her closeted next-door neighbor who prefers the fantasy of television over the brutality of reality. Although both talk at her more than to her, Elisa seems accustomed to her specific kind of loneliness.

Elisa’s routine is shaken up when she’s assigned to clean the room of “the most sensitive asset ever to be housed in this facility.” Plucked from a South American river where the locals believed him to be a god, a monstrously beautiful amphibious creature (Doug Jones) is held captive in the building by the crude Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon).

Locked in her own cage of sorts, Elisa feels an instant connection to the imprisoned not-quite-merman. Neither can physically speak, so they learn to communicate through gestures, shared meals, and an affinity for romantic jazz records. Despite their isolation, they find solace in each other’s company.

A sense of longing flows through the film like a current. Giles has a crush on the bartender at a pie shop and regularly eats the wrong order just for a chance of conversation. Zelda senses the distance growing between her and her husband, but her limitations in the world as a black woman are ever so present. All three characters feel trapped, but their otherness is what binds them together — and saves the creature.

It’s notable to point out that the heroes of this story aren’t straight white men. When the casually ignorant and downright abhorrent Colonel Strickland decides the creature is better off dead, Elisa steals him away — with the help of her gang of misfits — and hides him in her bathtub. The two bond more quickly than ever with their newfound freedom, and after an overnight interspecies sex session, Elisa imagines a future with the creature as she watches his body twinkle like stars in the night sky.

At the heart of the film lies the idea that we all deserve our own fairy tale, one that floods the senses. Elisa finds that in the creature. “The way he looks at me, he does not know what I lack or how I am incomplete,” she signs to Giles. “He sees me for what I am, as I am.”

The Shape of Water is an entrancing modern-day fairy tale, but more than that, a lesson to anyone who has ever felt unworthy of love. Finding beauty in our scars, in what we believe makes us inferior, is what brings us to life — quite literally, in Elisa’s case. We all deserve the freedom to be who we are, flaws and all, and be loved for it.

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White House Omits LGBT, People of Color From World AIDS Day Proclamation

The White House excluded LGBT people and people of color from its World AIDS Day proclamation.

The letter, signed by President Donald Trump, was released on the eve of the December 1 event raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic, which has taken more than 35 million lives in over three decades.  

“On this day, we pray for all those living with HIV, and those who have lost loved ones to AIDS,” stated the letter, which lists a general review of statistics and the work of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. It concluded with a call from Trump “to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and compassion to those living with HIV.”

There is no mention of gay and bisexual men, transgender women, or people of color, who are more affected by the virus than other groups in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This exclusion is a departure from the Obama administration, which listed these groups in its 2016 proclamation for World AIDS Day.

“Gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, black and Latino Americans, people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs are at a disproportionate risk,” stated the letter signed by President Obama. “People living with HIV can face stigma and discrimination, creating barriers to prevention and treatment services.”

Obama’s proclamation also listed clear commitments to fighting HIV that were excluded from Trump’s, including “encouraging treatment as prevention, expanding access to pre-exposure prophylaxis, eliminating waiting lists for medication assistance programs, and working toward a vaccine.” However, there was no mention of PrEP or TasP by Trump, who only vaguely promised “to invest in testing initiatives” for HIV in the U.S.

Moreover, in his letter, Obama touted how access to health care is expanded by Affordable Care Act, as “no one can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions like HIV.” Trump has actively worked to dismantle Obamacare, and unlike Obama, has no National HIV/AIDS Strategy. In fact, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy was deleted from WhiteHouse.gov shortly after Trump’s inauguration.

When asked by The Daily Beast why LGBT people and people of color were not included in the World AIDS Day proclamation, the White House press secretary’s office stated, “HIV/AIDS afflicts people of all types.”

This is not the first time Trump has exercised an “All Lives Matter”-esque logic to exclude marginalized groups. Jews were purposely omitted from the White House’s official statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day in January. At the time, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Jewish people weren’t mentioned because, “despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.”

In addition, Trump’s Columbus Day proclamation failed to mention Native Americans and the devastation they endured as a result of European colonization.

LGBT Fans Warned to Use Caution at World Cup in Russia

With next year’s FIFA World Cup set to take place in Russia, fans are being advised that displays of same-sex affection may not be welcome in the nation.

Fare, a group that fights racial, anti-LGBT, and other forms of discrimination in the sport of soccer (usually known as “football” outside the U.S.), is preparing a guide on the threats fans may face in Russia, especially in light of the “gay propaganda law” adopted in 2013, essentially banning any positive characterization of LGBT identity in venues accessible to minors.

“The guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen to be welcoming to the LGBT community,” Fare executive director Piara Powar told the Associated Press. “If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so? That depends on which city they are in and the time of day.

“The guide will also include some detailed explanations of for example the actual situation of the LGBT community in Russia. It is not a crime to be gay, but there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors. Issues relating to the LGBT community are not part of the public discourse. Gay people have a place in Russia which is quite hidden and underground.”

Some fans have asked if it will be OK to display rainbow flags at games, but FIFA, the international soccer organization, hasn’t responded, Powar added.

Racial and ethnic discrimination is also a concern, Power said. There are extremist groups in Russia that have shown hostility to people of color or have embraced “far-right nationalism,” he said.

“Do go to the World Cup, but be cautious,” he advised.

The World Cup will be held June 14 through July 15, with games taking place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, and other Russian cities. 

Canada to Give $110 Million to 'Gay Purge' Victims

Justin Trudeau has apologized for decades of persecution against gay and bisexual Canadians.

The Canadian prime minister, speaking at the House of Commons in Ottawa Tuesday, atoned for “Canada’s role in the systemic oppression, criminalization, and violence” caused by a discriminatory government program, reports The New York Times.

Over the span of more than 30 years, tens of thousands serving in the military, public service, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were fired, prosecuted, or imprisoned due to their sexual orientation.

The policy of targeting gays and lesbians began in the 1950s, as a means of identifying those who might be susceptible to blackmail by the Soviet Union. It lasted until 1992 and ruined many lives.

In addition to destroying livelihoods, some of the female “gay purge” victims claim to have been raped, under the belief it would turn them straight. Others were believed to have committed suicide as a response to the policy.

“It is with shame and sorrow and deep regret for the things we have done that I stand here today and say: We were wrong,” Trudeau said at the House of Commons. “It is my hope that in talking about these injustices, vowing to never repeat them, and acting to right these wrongs, we can begin to heal,” he added.

The Canadian government has allotted a total of 110 million Canadian dollars, or 85 million U.S. dollars, toward compensating the victims of the “gay purge.” Those who suffered mental or physical harm may claim an additional 150,000 Canadian dollars.

Moreover, 15 million Canadian dollars will be used to honor the dead in the form of memorials, as well as education about LGBT history and persecution. A national monument to the victims is to be constructed in the Canadian capital.

LGBT activists praised Canada’s response to the crimes of its past, which is unprecedented in world history. R. Douglas Elliott, the head legal representative of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs in the lawsuit, called it “something we can be extremely proud of in Canada.”

“At a time when America is going backward and trying to reintroduce discrimination, we are moving forward and facing this historic injustice, making reparations to the victims and an unshakable commitment that this discrimination will never be repeated,” he said.