X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer has been named in a lawsuit that claims he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old during the 1990s.
17 Apr 2014 - 7:13 PM  UPDATED 17 Apr 2014 - 7:19 PM

A former child model and aspiring actor is accusing X-Men franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii.

The lawsuit filed on Wednesday says the prominent director of the forthcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past forced Michael Egan into sex during parties in California and Hawaii when he was 17 in the late 1990s.

Singer's lawyer, Marty Singer, said in a statement the claims are absurd and defamatory.

"It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan's new movie is about to open in a few weeks," said Marty Singer, who said he is not related to the director.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is set for release on May 23. It has an all-star cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. It's the fifth film in the blockbuster franchise.

The lawsuit claims Egan was lured into a sex ring with promises of auditions for acting, modelling and commercial jobs. He was put on the company's payroll as an actor, but forced to have sex with adult men at parties notorious within Hollywood's entertainment industry, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit says Bryan Singer attended several of the parties and forced Egan into sex, giving him drugs and threatening Egan when he resisted advances.

"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children," Herman said in a statement.

The lawsuit does not specify a total dollar amount, but says Egan is seeking more than $US75,000 ($A80,295) on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.

The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse, but is naming Egan because the lawsuit was filed civilly, Egan's lawyer Herman identified him and said Egan planned to speak publicly.

The lawsuit is possible in Hawaii because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases.

Bryan Singer, 48, has had a lengthy career behind the camera, directing several movies including The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns and Jack the Giant Slayer.