Attorneys apologize to Hollywood execs for filing 'untrue' sex abuse claims

Attorneys apologize to Hollywood execs for filing 'untrue' sex abuse claims
Michael Egan said he had been abused by severalprominent entertainment industry executives. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Attorneys Jeffrey Herman and Mark Gallagher issued apologies for filing "untrue and provably false" sex abuse allegations against veteran television executive Garth Ancier and former Walt Disney Television President David Neuman.

The apologies came more than a year after former model Michael Egan filed lawsuits saying he was abused at estates in Encino and Hawaii by prominent entertainment industry executives including Ancier, Neuman, "X-Men" director Bryan Singer and Gary Goddard.

Seeking at least $1 million in damages, Egan filed the lawsuits in April 2014. All four of the defendants or their representatives said that they were never in Hawaii with Egan. In June 2014, Ancier filed a complaint accusing Egan and his attorneys of malicious prosecution and abuse of process. That same month, Egan withdrew his sexual abuse lawsuit against Neuman.

In late 2014 Egan was indicted on securities and wire fraud in connection with an investment scheme, the FBI said. According to Ancier's lawyer, Egan recently pleaded guilty in North Carolina federal court and is awaiting sentencing.

Herman and Gallagher's apology letters were accompanied by an undisclosed seven-figure settlement.

"As you know, I withdrew from representing Mr. Egan two months after filing the complaints," Herman said in two separate letters, one to Ancier and one to Neuman. "Based on what I know now, I believe that I participated in making what I now know to be untrue and provably false allegations against you. Had I known what I learned after filing the lawsuits, I would never have filed these claims against you."

Gallagher echoed the apology in his letters, stating he "deeply regret[s] the unjustified pain, suffering and significant damage the lawsuit and publicity has caused."

Ancier said in a statement he is "pleased" with the apology.

"The lawyers who brought this false claim are now making a significant financial payment as part of their apology for bringing a case they acknowledge never had any merit, finally proving that a convicted scam artist's claims about me were entirely made up," Ancier said in a statement Sunday. "I said on day one this was all absolutely false and I'm certainly pleased that's now been admitted by the lawyers responsible for transforming absurd fabrications into a real-life nightmare for me."

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