One of the crew members later said he thought that there had been a screwup the day of the shoot—that only the adult extras were supposed to have been asked to appear naked, and that somehow the minor and adult extras had been mixed together.
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After being dropped off by his father one morning, he was directed to the locker room. Shooting was about to begin. He remembers that the locker room had been divided—a screen here and lights over there. A crew member gave him a towel and told him to disrobe completely and wrap the towel around his waist. He was 13 years old.
How are you? Eventually, he says, Singer came back and made small talk. How are you doing? Do you need anything? His father told us he remembers dropping him off for the filming and thinking that perhaps his son would become an actor. So I locked it away. When he was 16, he got his girlfriend pregnant, and they had a daughter.
He had been an A and B student and a standout football prospect , but he stopped going to classes and was kicked off the team. He dropped out of school for six months and worked a series of minimum-wage jobs—at a fast-food restaurant, a deli—before returning and eventually graduating. They broke up when their daughter was six months old. Valdovinos had other failed relationships. He lost one job after another. Valdovinos began to question how his life might have gone differently if not for that locker-room encounter with Singer. Would I be more successful?
Would I be married? He thought about going public. But who would believe him? He contacted Jeff Herman, the same attorney who is representing Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, and another lawyer to discuss bringing a civil suit, but they told him that too much time had passed.
He quickly scribbled a short summary of his story; it differs on a couple of points from what he now swears is true—whether he went to the shoot one or two days after meeting Singer, and whether Singer molested him in the bathroom as well as the locker room. He wants Singer to apologize for what he did.
Many thought he might be one of the blossoming greats, like his idol, Steven Spielberg. Spielberg was the reason Singer had wanted to be a filmmaker. Singer saw E. Like Spielberg, Singer had begun making 8-mm films for fun when he was He was a Jewish teenager who would eventually come out as gay, living in a mostly Catholic neighborhood of West Windsor, New Jersey.
One of the Oscars The Usual Suspects won was for best original screenplay.
He remembers wondering: How did all these boys get here? Where are their parents? Ben was one of the boys at those parties. He, too, asked The Atlantic to withhold his real name. Ben was able to tell us the address of the Butler Avenue house and the name of its owner, and to accurately describe details of the interior.
Another source in this article recalls seeing him at parties during this period. Ben describes Singer as someone who liked to cross boundaries. But then he realized he was being used.
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David Lisak, a clinical psychologist who studies the impact of childhood sexual trauma on male survivors, says this kind of thinking is common. Lisak adds that even when a teenager is a willing participant, sex with an adult distorts what is supposed to be a period of exploration and discovery. A round the time Singer was finishing Apt Pupil and about to begin directing the first X-Men movie, he invested in a Hollywood start-up, Digital Entertainment Network, that would eventually end in scandal.
They predicted that DEN would upend Hollywood. On paper, DEN was indeed a forward-thinking idea. One early, senior-level DEN employee remembers asking why so many teenage boys were on the payroll and being told that they did computer work. The employee also recalls attending a company party and seeing teenage boys filing into a movie theater in the Encino mansion.
But we were totally not allowed into that room. Collins-Rector boasted that he had a private jet and suggested they meet. The next day, Andy says, Collins-Rector sent a cab to pick him up in front of his apartment complex in Las Vegas and bring him to one of the big casinos on the Strip. Andy says he stayed with Collins-Rector until late that night, maybe until the next morning, and that they had oral sex.
Andy was Collins-Rector arranged for Andy and his family to visit the set of Apt Pupil. That summer, Andy began taking all-expenses-paid trips to visit Collins-Rector.
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One night Andy, now 15, got to talking with Singer, who led him away from the other men in the living room of the Benedict Canyon mansion and up a flight of stairs. His description of the mansion matches its layout, based on photos that were posted online when it was for sale. Inside was a waterbed. He says he and Singer had talked about what grade he was in. Singer would have been about Singer had brought along Brad Renfro—the star of Apt Pupil , who was now According to two sources, Singer sometimes referred to Renfro as his boyfriend.
Renfro sat sheepishly next to the waterbed, looking unsure of what to do while Singer and Andy fooled around. I think he was going with the flow. We talked about it.
Like me, he looked around at all of the things these guys had, all of the money. Maybe he thought the guys were going to do things for him. Andy says Renfro left the room, and then Andy had sex with Singer. That bothered me, so I stuck my hand over his mouth or in his mouth just to stop it. When we went downstairs, it was really awkward.
I just acted like it was no big thing. Andy says he slept with Singer a handful of times after that. One night, around , he met up with Singer in Las Vegas. They took a long walk. He had another boy or two with him and had no interest in me. Meanwhile, Andy was falling apart. He had started prostituting himself and got hooked on meth. He missed 53 of the first 60 days of school in his junior year of high school and was expelled. He did jail time. He appeared in porn films. In his early 20s, Andy moved to West Hollywood, where he says he ran into Singer a few times.
I was looking for money for drugs, just enough to get through the day. Another time it was five or six grand. I had his phone number. We talked here and there. In his late 20s, Andy was caught dealing drugs and faced nine years in prison. That stint in rehab led to two more. Andy is now 36 years old. He lives outside L. Neatly dressed, with a buzz cut and a polite, understated demeanor, he could pass for a military veteran.
A t 17, Eric was a bright kid from a small town in Northern California.