Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Filmmaker Bryan Singer says his attempt to care for a sick parent -- and not erratic behavior -- was to blame for his firing from the Fox film Bohemian Rhapsody.
The director issued a statement through his attorney Andrew B. Brettler Monday night, after the studio announced he would no longer be helming the movie.
"Bohemian Rhapsody is a passion project of mine," Singer said. "With fewer than three weeks to shoot remaining, I asked Fox for some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents. This was a very taxing experience, which ultimately took a serious toll on my own health. Unfortunately, the studio was unwilling to accommodate me and terminated my services. This was not my decision and it was beyond my control."
"Rumors that my unexpected departure from the film was sparked by a dispute I had with Rami Malek are not true," Singer added. "While, at times, we did have creative differences on set, Rami and I successfully put those differences behind us and continued to work on the film together until just prior to Thanksgiving. I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen, but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first."
20th Century Fox said it fired Singer from the film after he failed to show up for work on multiple occasions.
Sources also told Deadline there were tensions on the set between Singer and some of the actors, including the lead, Rami Malek, who plays Mercury, and Tom Hollander, who plays Queen manager Jim Beach.
Malek reportedly complained to the studio about Singer's unprofessional behavior, including an incident in which the director allegedly threw an object during an argument.
The studio has not announced who will take over as director of the film.