In August of 2011, the former child actor Corey Feldman made a stunning assertion to ABC News: "I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia. That's the biggest problem for children in this industry ... It's the big secret." The rest of the media said nothing.
Almost three years later, it's happening again. The Los Angeles Times reported on April 18 that "X-Men" director Bryan Singer "has been accused in a federal lawsuit of drugging and sexually assaulting an aspiring teenage actor in the 1990s."
Michael Egan III claims that he was forced into a "sordid sex ring" in the entertainment industry in which underage boys were supplied alcohol and drugs. Egan alleges that the assaults took place at wild parties in California and Hawaii when he was 17.
"The claims made against Bryan Singer are completely without merit," said Singer's attorney Marty Singer (no relation). "We are very confident that Bryan will be vindicated in this absurd and defamatory lawsuit."
Days later, Egan's lawyer Jeffrey Herman sued three more entertainment industry figures alleging sexual abuse: former NBC Entertainment president Garth Ancier, former Disney executive David Neuman and theater producer Gary Goddard.
"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children," Herman declared. "This is the first of many cases I will be filing to give these victims a voice and to expose the issue."
Trial lawyers making sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests can count on explosive national media coverage. This lawyer cannot. There is virtual silence. None of the broadcast or cable news networks are reporting on this lawsuit. The Los Angeles Times and New York Times reports have been brief. USA Today and the Washington Post haven't located the story at all.
For his part, Singer is accusing Egan of trying to ruin the publicity for his latest "X-Men" film. For the media's part, this should make the story more newsworthy.
Days after these lawsuits came to light, the networks used the canonization festivities for Pope John Paul II to slam him again, condemning him for inaction during his tenure on lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests. The "victims rights advocates" lined up to get their licks in. NBC's Anne Thompson summarized: "John Paul II has many critics who say he did not do enough -- or did very little -- to stop the sex abuse crisis."
The TV networks never tire of long-form journalism attacking the Catholic hierarchy on sex abuse lawsuits. Last year, HBO ran an anti-Catholic screed titled "Mea Maxima Culpa" by Alex Gibney, who called Pope Benedict a "criminal."
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