Queen’s Brian May apologises after defending ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ director Bryan Singer over sexual assault claims

"I now realise that I was completely wrong."

Queen guitarist Brian May has apologised after he appeared to defend Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer over allegations of sexual assault.

The legendary musician initially hit out on Instagram, after a fan asked why he was still following Singer, who has been forced to deny claims that he slept with and sexually assaulted a string of underage boys.

“You need to look after your own business and stop telling me what to do. And you need to learn to respect the fact that a man or woman is innocent until proven guilty,” wrote May on Instagram.

The terse defence came on the same day that The Atlantic detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against Singer from four men. In response, Singer immediately denied the claims and described the article as a “homophobic smear piece.”

But May appeared to back down only hours later, and claimed that his initial comment was “a result of my perception that someone was telling me what to do.”

“I now realise that I was completely wrong in thinking that. You were actually just trying to protect me, for which I thank you. I am mortified to discover the effect my words produced. I had no idea that saying someone was innocent until proven guilty could be interpreted as ‘defending’ Bryan Singer. I had absolutely no intention of doing that,” wrote May.

“I guess I must be naive, because also it had never occurred to me that ‘following’ a person on Instagram could be interpreted as approving of that person. The only reason I followed Bryan Singer was that we were working with him on a project.

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Dear Folks – I was shocked and saddened to realise what I had done by my hasty and inconsiderate IG reply to this lady yesterday. I’ve posted an apology to her in the ‘reply’ box, but it seems to have disappeared – so I’m going to try to repeat it here, to be clear. ———- Dear Sue, I’m so sorry that I responded to your post so snappily and inconsiderately. My response was a result of my perception that someone was telling me what to do. I now realise that I was completely wrong in thinking that. You were actually just trying to protect me, for which I thank you. I am mortified to discover the effect my words produced. I had no idea that saying someone was innocent until proven guilty could be interpreted as “defending“ Bryan Singer. I had absolutely no intention of doing that. I guess I must be naive, because also it had never occurred to me that ‘following’ a person on Instagram could be interpreted as approving of that person. The only reason I followed Bryan Singer was that we were working with him on a project. That situation came to an end when Mr Singer was sacked during the shooting of the film, but I suppose unfollowing him never occurred to me as a necessity. Now, because of this misunderstanding, I have unfollowed. I’m so sorry. This must have caused you a lot of upset. I wish I could take the comment back, but all I can do is apologise, and hope that my apology will begin to make amends. Sadly, this is all very public, but since I snapped at you in public, it’s only fitting that I should apologise in public. I’m going to try to follow you so we can communicate privately if you want. With love – Bri. —— I should add that this is also a sincere apology to anyone else out there that I inadvertently offended. No such offence was intended and I will be more careful in future. Bri

A post shared by Brian Harold May (@brianmayforreal) on

“That situation came to an end when Mr Singer was sacked during the shooting of the film, but I suppose unfollowing him never occurred to me as a necessity. Now, because of this misunderstanding, I have unfollowed. I’m so sorry.

“This must have caused you a lot of upset. I wish I could take the comment back, but all I can do is apologise, and hope that my apology will begin to make amends. Sadly, this is all very public, but since I snapped at you in public, it’s only fitting that I should apologise in public.”

The incident occurred on the same day that it was announced that Bohemian Rhapsody’s nomination for Outstanding Film—Wide Release was withdrawn from the GLAAD Awards.

“We believe, however, that we must send a clear and unequivocal message to LGBTQ youth and all survivors of sexual assault that GLAAD and our community will stand with survivors and will not be silent when it comes to protecting them from those who would do them harm,” a statement from GLAAD confirmed.

Although credited as the director of Bohemian Rhapsody, Singer was fired in December 2017 amid reports of personal troubles and clashes with Rami Malek. He was later replaced by Dexter Fletcher for the remainder of the shoot.