Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 1:45 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — The director of the upcoming "X-Men" film is calling a lawsuit that accuses him of raping an aspiring model and actor in 1999 a shakedown.
Bryan Singer wrote in a statement released Thursday that he's avoiding promotional events for his upcoming film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" to avoid distracting from the movie.
His statement comes a week after he was sued by Michael Egan III in Hawaii in a case that accuses the director of sexually abusing Egan there when he was 17 years old.
Singer's attorney has denied that the director was in Hawaii when the alleged abuse occurred.
The director's statement says he expects the allegations will be revealed to be a "sick, twisted shakedown."
An email sent to Egan's attorney, Jeff Herman, was not immediately returned.