Six actresses, including Olivia Munn, claim filmmaker Brett Ratner allegedly sexually harassed them at the beginning of their careers. Read the details of their accusations, which Ratner has denied through his lawyer.
Olivia Munn, Natasha Henstridge, Jorina King, Eri Sasaki, Katharine Towne, and Jaime Ray Newman have all come forward with claims that famed director and producer Brett Ratner allegedly sexually harassed them when they were young actresses trying to make it in the film industry. Each woman described incidents to the Los Angeles Times in which Ratner allegedly masturbated in front of them, and/or allegedly propositioned them for sex. Ratner has denied all claims of sexual harassment through his attorney, Martin Singer, who sent a 10-page letter to the LA Times “categorically” disputing the women’s accounts. “I have represented Mr. Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment,” Singer wrote. “Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
Munn said that, while still an aspiring actress, she visited the set of the 2004 film After the Sunset, which was directed by Ratner. She said that she went to his trailer to deliver a meal, and he allegedly masturbated in front of her. Munn wrote about the alleged encounter in a 2010 collection of essays, Suck It, Wonder Woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek, without naming Ratner. On a TV show in 2011, Ratner identified himself as the director in the book, and said that he “banged” her. He later said it wasn’t true, but the rumor followed Munn. She ran into him at a party in 2010 thrown by the Creative Artists Agency, according to Munn, where he allegedly told her he bought 12 copies of a magazine with her on the cover and “came” on all of them. Ratner’s lawyer said that the director “vehemently disputes” Munn’s accusations.
Newman (The Punisher, Bates Motel) said Ratner switched seats to sit next to her in first class on an Air Canada flight in 2005.“[Ratner] was graphically describing giving me oral sex and how he was addicted to it,” she told the Times. He also allegedly showed her nude photos of his then-girlfriend. Ratner’s lawyer denied the story, calling it a “ridiculous claim.”
Towne, the daughter of screenwriter Robert Towne, said Ratner made unwanted advances toward her at a 2005 party “in a movie star’s home.” Towne claims that Ratner followed her into the bathroom and “made it evident that he had one motive.” She said that she got nervous and made jokes about how she was chubby. ““I like ’em chubby sometimes,” Ratner allegedly responded. Ratner’s attorney again denied the “absurd” claim. “Even if hypothetically this incident occurred exactly as claimed, how is flirting at a party, complimenting a woman on her appearance, and calling her to ask her for a date wrongful conduct?” Singer told the Times.
Two women said that Ratner allegedly harassed them on the set of Rush Hour 2 in 2001, which he directed. Sasaki, then a 21-year-old model, was an extra in the movie for a scene that featured women in bikinis and lingerie. She claims that Ratner came up to her on set one day, and allegedly ran his index finger down her exposed midriff and asked if she wanted to go into the bathroom with him. When she said no, he allegedly asked her, “Don’t you want to be famous?” A couple days later, he allegedly asked her again to go to the bathroom with him, allegedly telling her he’d give her a line of dialogue in the movie. She again said no. Ratner has “no recollection” of the alleged incident, according to Singer.
King, who was also an extra in the film, said Ratner allegedly asked her to come to his trailer, allegedly telling her that he “needed to see her breasts.” She hid in a bathroom. “I figured if I could stay out of his eyesight, if I could stay away from him, he will forget about me and he will choose someone else, and that is exactly what happened,” King said. Singer called her claims “absurd and nonsensical,” and that, “the movie was obviously already cast and shooting, so the notion that there would be a discussion of getting her a speaking role in the middle of a movie shoot is ridiculous.”
Henstridge was a 19-year-old model and aspiring actress in the early 1990s when she and friends were invited to hang out at Ratner’s NYC apartment. At the time, Ratner was in his early 20s and was directing music videos. Henstridge claims she fell asleep on his couch while watching a movie, and when she woke up, her friends were gone. She got up to leave, she said, but Ratner allegedly blocked the doorway and wouldn’t let her go. He allegedly started touching himself and allegedly forced her to perform oral sex. “He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she said. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing.” Singer denied this, too.
The actresses’ claims come as hundreds of women and men accuse Hollywood heavyweights like Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, and Kevin Spacey, of alleged sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse. Warner Bros, where Ratner is a producer/financier, has now announced that they’re investigating the allegations.
UPDATE: TMZ reports that late on Nov. 1, Ratner filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman named Melanie Kohler, who claimed in an October 20 Facebook post that, “Brett Ratner raped me” and said he was “a rapist on at least one night in Hollywood about 12 years ago.” She told the tale of being brought back to producer Robert Evans house where Ratner was living at the time and “preyed on me as a drunk girl [and] forced himself upon me.” His legal team had asked her to take down the post which she did, but has since made the allegations again on other platforms.
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