The former attorneys for an ex-model who sued four powerful Hollywood executives last year apologized Sunday to one of the executives for making what they acknowledged were false accusations that the executive sexually abused their client when he was an aspiring teen actor.
The lawyers, Jeffrey Herman and Mark Gallagher, represented Michael Egan III when he sued TV executive Garth Ancier and three other men — including "X-Men" director Bryan Singer — in a legal action that riveted Hollywood for months.
Egan dropped all four lawsuits later last year. In April, he pleaded guilty in an unrelated case to investment fraud and conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing in North Carolina.
In a countersuit last year, Ancier — a former president of NBC Entertainment, part of Comcast-NBCUniversal, and The WB — alleged that Egan's suit was "an avowed and very public campaign by Mr. Egan's counsel to troll for new clients who would enable them to shake down other entertainment industry executives" by pushing false stories of a predatory "gay Mafia" in Hollywood.
In separate statements released Sunday, both lawyers apologized to Ancier and said they wouldn't have filed the action had they known all the facts — which they didn't reveal.
"Unfortunately, I now do not believe that the allegations in the lawsuit were true and accurate," Gallagher said. Herman said: "Based on what I know now, I believe that I participated in making what I now know to be untrue and proveably false allegations against you."
Ancier said in a statement that Herman and Gallagher had agreed to make a "significant financial payment." Herman confirmed that he had "resolved this matter with compensation to you."
"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," Ancier said.
Neither side said how much Ancier was paid, but his representative, Davidson Goldin, said it was in the "low seven figures." (Goldin is a former editorial director of MSNBC-TV, a unit of Comcast-NBCUniversal.)