The Hollyweird Legal Roundup: Bryan Singer, Statutes Of Limitation, And You

Hello, imaginary friends. I just returned from a relaxing fortnight at Definitely Not Rehab That’s For Sure, AZ. Can’t share much from my trip, but between you, me and the Internet, Scott Stapp has some freaky-ass stories.

Enough of my chin music. Time to law this mother out.

1. He’ll Flip You For Real: To anyone who says that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, Bryan Singer would like to offer a heartfelt “f*ck you”:

“Bryan Singer, director, producer and writer of more than two dozen productions including the X-Men films, was accused Wednesday in a federal lawsuit of having sexually abused a 17-year-old boy at estates in Los Angeles and Kailua, Hawaii where firearms, drugs and alcohol were present.”

It’s a pity that the allegations are so disgusting, because I am obligated to note that I would otherwise be eager to attend a party in Hawaii featuring firearms, drugs and alcohol (the DEA and ATF usually hold their mixers in Akron).

Since the story broke, the accuser, Michael Egan, has gone on to implicate other Hollywood figures in this sordidity. Again, at the risk of diminishing the heinousness of this subject, I can’t help but visualize all of the alleged perpetrators (I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of “alleged” today) standing in a police lineup before forming a ragtag conspiracy in a holding cell, Usual Suspects-style. “I know Singer’s down–what about you, guy?”

I was not present at the alleged satyricons; what I can comment on with righteous certainty is some of the weirdness surrounding the he-said-he-said:

A. Egan and his lawyer announced the lawsuits, filed in a federal court in Hawaii, at press conferences held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Instead of naming all of the defendants at once, they dragged it out over a period of several days. Accused TV executive Garth Ancier repudiated the accusations in a series of tweets.

Litigation has entered its Post-Modern phase.

B. The statute of limitations is weeeird. Y’all watch movies or read or whatever, so you know that a “statute of limitations” restricts the amount of time after an event that someone can be sued or charged with a crime (note that there is generally no statute of limitations for murder, so prepare to stay running, young killers). Hawaiian law states that a minor who is the victim of a sexual offense and wants to sue the perpetrator (a reasonable thing to want) has to do so within 8 years after such victim has turned 18 or within 3 years after they’ve recovered a memory of the event. Since the plaintiff is 31, and doesn’t claim to have recovered repressed memories, it would appear that he’s about five years too late to file a case (18 + 8 being 26, and 31 – 26 is five.) (I was told there would be no math).

HOWEVER. Hawaii amended its law to allow plaintiffs whose sexual abuse claims would otherwise have expired to file suits anyway, provided they did so between April 24, 2012 and April 24, 2014. From a legal standpoint, whaaat the faaaahk? Why would Hawaii throw out the statue of limitations for these claims? Why would they only do so for a two-year period? Why did Egan wait until almost the last day to file his claims?

Anybody who can explain this in a single tweet, feel free to hit me up. No fatties.

C. Venue and Age of Consent. This is all pretty simple, but just to sum it up right quick: a Nevada resident (Egan) with a Florida lawyer is suing a California resident (Singer) in Hawaii. The plaintiff was 17 at the time the alleged events took place in Hawaii (some events also took place in California), where the age of consent is 16 (14 in some cases) (yikes), but that’s irrelevant because the claim is forcible rape, not statutory. Except, it’s not irrelevant because the statute of limitations extension mentioned above only applies to victims under 18.

I mean, obviously.

D. According to Hawaiian law, “cunnilingus is an act of sexual penetration.” Maybe the way you do it, Hawaiian law.

2. Don’t Hate the Player of Thrones: The Half-Mann Act. Enough jibber jabber about sickening realities, let’s get to the trial of the century of whatever century Game of Thrones takes place in. I don’t generally write about TV, but HBO isn’t TV, or at least it used to not be. Shut up.

Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers abound. Anybody who’s waiting to watch the series on Amazon Prime in 2017 can f*ck right off.

Tyrion Lannister (the great Peter Dinklage, known to the ladies as the “Dinklage of Consent”)(callback!) is in trouble, deep, and his papa don’t preach. Tyrion is in prison, accused of murdering his nephew Joffrey.

So locked-down Tyrion not only faces a jury of 3 headed by his father (which would be pretty sweet but for the fact that his father hates him), he is not represented by counsel–no Miranda rights in Westeros. Next time any of you ingrates dreams of a world without lawyers, I welcome you to face trial by combat. Although, admittedly, criminal law got much less interesting when that ceased to be an option–f*ck a jury of your peers (as if a clever whoremongering dwarf has peers), put my guy with a sword against yours and let’s do this. Tyrion beat the case that way in Season 1, when he faced his last ill-conceived murder accusation.

How would I get him off (phrasing!)? It seems like his best bet, in this case as in the last, would be the “how f*cking stupid do you think I am?” defense. Last time around, Cat Stark (RIP, my dopey lady) deduced that he had tried to have her son murdered using a knife that could be traced back to him. Good plan! This time, they’re saying he killed a guy everybody knew that he hated, in public, without making any attempt to escape. Better plan! Tyrion is not widely popular, but even his worst enemies acknowledge his intelligence. Just say, “oh, I wanted to kill him, he was an unconscionable dickweed, but if I had done it, sh*t would have been done right. I actually had a plan to do it, and it would have ruled.” *takes out parchment entitled Scheme to Knock Joffrey Off-rey (Wordplay!).*

Probably don’t try this defense yourself.

Twitter: @Buttockus