Blake Stuerman, 30, a one-time assistant and romantic partner of Bryan Singer — who has previously been accused of sexual misconduct — has opened up in a piece for Variety about his time with the X-Men director, who he describes as abusive and controlling, and whose actions left him suffering from PTSD as a result of their relationship.
According to Stuerman, the two men met in New York City via a mutual friend when he was 18 and Singer was 43. “I turned 18 in March of 2009. Just days after my birthday, my life would change forever,” he began. The two met at a dinner at Nobu 57, and Stuerman said that Singer took an instant interest in him. “I was stick thin, wildly precocious and looked no older than 15. The textbook definition of a twink,” he shared.
The two began spending time together in New York, and one night in Singer’s room the men ended up alone together. “I was newly 18, alone in a hotel suite with a rich and famous man who was giving me his full attention, and I was intoxicated for the first time in my life,” Stuerman recalled. “My chest grows tight now just thinking about it. You can imagine what happened next. I didn’t know I was allowed to say no. I didn’t know that alcohol was affecting my decision-making ability.”
Stuerman said in his statement to Variety that the next day Singer began encouraging him to move to Los Angeles to pursue his career in storytelling, and he followed his advice. However, upon arriving there, he learned more about Singer’s reputation, he said. “That’s when I learned he had a reputation for liking very young-looking men,” he recounted. “Older men would lead groups of twinks, like me, into Bryan’s house. It was expected that these men had already vetted these boys to make sure they were legal. He would come hang out for a bit, make sure everyone had drinks, and then he’d pick the one, two, or more who he liked and we’d see them an hour or three later. I was often one of them.”
The two carried on a sexual and eventually professional relationship, although Stuerman told Variety that it was a controlling and sometimes frightening one. “As we got closer, he expected even more. If he didn’t find a boy out at the bars that night, I would have to be the boy. If I put up even a little bit of resistance, he’d get angry,” he said. “Why would I throw my future away? If I wanted to leave I was welcome to, but I wouldn’t be allowed back. He would text me about sex: ‘Boy cum yeahhhhhhhhh!’”
Then one night during a party at his house, Singer became violent, Stuerman alleged. He heard yelling then saw the director suddenly attack one of his guests. Stuerman told Variety that he pulled Singer away and tried to calm him down, while texting the guests begging them to end the party. He also began fearing for his life. “‘I’ll fucking kill you if you leave me.’ Those were his exact words. I had never witnessed or experienced physical violence before meeting Bryan,” Stuerman said.
Following that incident, Stuerman said he lived with Singer in fear as the director held his career as collateral. “If Bryan found out I had hooked up with someone without his permission — without inviting him to participate — he berated me, and dangled my future in front of me. I wasn’t allowed to date. I wasn’t allowed to have sex with people of my choosing. He controlled me,” Stuerman recalled.
The relationship finally dissolved on the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past, where Stuerman told Variety he was mentally and physically exhausted by Singer’s demands to party every night despite it resulting in the director’s alleged inability to be on set the following morning. When Stuerman confronted Singer, he claims the director blew up, eventually kicking him out of his home.
Stuerman moved back home in 2013 and spent the intervening years processing his trauma.
Singer’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, has refuted Stuerman’s claims. In a four-page letter to Variety, he denied the allegations as “uncorroborated, inflammatory, and highly defamatory.”
“The types of allegations that Mr. Steurman [sic] now is leveling against Mr. Singer are nothing more than self-serving and conclusory statements with absolutely no evidentiary support,” Brettler wrote. He added: “Mr. Stuerman is angry and upset that he allegedly did not receive the ‘credit’ that he thought he deserved on Mr. Singer’s films...And, most of all, he is angry and upset that Mr. Singer is no longer funding Mr. Stuerman’s jet setting lifestyle and supporting Mr. Stuerman financially, as he had done for so many years.”
In its reporting, Variety states it corroborated Stuerman’s account of his life with Singer with documents, photos, emails, and text messages. It also spoke with 20 people in Singer’s orbit at the time of the alleged events.