X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer has announced that he will no longer be participating in the promotion of his highly-anticipated movie, which is scheduled to be released on May 23.

The reason, as you might imagine, is because of Singer’s involvement in a high-profile sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by now-31-year-old Michael Egan, who alleges that when Egan was 15, Singer (and others) molested him during private parties in California and Hawaii. Of note is that this suit is being pursued in civil and not criminal court (meaning only money is at stake and not jail time), and as of yet no tangible evidence has been presented to the public.

The damage it has done to Singer’s reputation has been substantial. Given the scope of the scandal and the media coverage it has received, that Singer is choosing to withdraw from the spotlight is certainly understandable.

For his part, Singer vehemently denies the allegations. He issued this statement through his publicist:

“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.”

What was supposed to be a glorious comeback for Singer after directing the first two X-Men films has all gone wrong, and in the face of such serious allegations has more important things to worry about than a movie.

[via Yahoo!]