Hollywood Chief Joins Bryan Singer in Bid to Dismiss Sex Case
The last of the four Hollywood power players accused of sexually assaulting and abusing a teenage boy has filed a motion to have the case against him dismissed.
Garth Ancier, a producer and former NBC and WB executive, joined X-Men director Bryan Singer, Broadway producer Gary Goddard, and former Walt Disney Television President David Neuman in filing a motion to dismiss the cases against them in which they are accused of assaulting the then-teenager in the late 1990s. Ancier’s motion was filed in a Hawaiian court on Thursday afternoon.
In the motion, Ancier’s lawyers, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, say Michael Egan’s case, as helmed by lawyer Jeff Herma, was “part of an avowed campaign by Mr. Herman to troll for new clients who will enable him to shake down Hollywood executives.”
The allegations against Ancier, the motion says—that he abused and assaulted Egan in Hawaii and in a property in Encino, California—were “salacious and utterly concocted.”
The motion says Ancier has three third-party witnesses, as well as his own testimony (including documentary evidence, such as receipts), that he was not in Hawaii when the alleged assaults took place between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, 1999.
One of Ancier’s witnesses has no memory of Egan being in Hawaii at that time, which would be concordant with sworn evidence he gave in a previous suit, in 2000, that Egan himself had not traveled to Hawaii. In the current suit, he claims that part of the abuse occurred there.
Ancier, according to the motion to dismiss, has never flown on a private jet to Hawaii, has never been in a private jet with Egan, or visited the Paul Mitchell estate in Hawaii, all of which Egan contended in his suit filed by Herman. He was “exclusively” on the U.S. mainland during the time period highlighted by Egan, according to the document.
At the time, he had just begun as NBC’s president and programming chief, Ancier says in the motion. “I was under intense scrutiny by my bosses at NBC, who were deciding based on my performance and the performance of my shows after their premieres (based on ratings sweeps that were coming in November 1999) whether I could cut it as the network’s new president.
“It was critical for me to work as hard as possible through the sweeps period; to take time off for two trips to Hawaii would have been virtual career suicide.” Rather, he was in “fire drill mode” preparing his slate of TV shows.
The first hearing in the case, which has electrified Hollywood, is set for late July.